skip to main content

Title: Coronal Magnetic Field Measurements along a Partially Erupting Filament in a Solar Flare

Magnetic flux ropes are the centerpiece of solar eruptions. Direct measurements for the magnetic field of flux ropes are crucial for understanding the triggering and energy release processes, yet they remain heretofore elusive. Here we report microwave imaging spectroscopy observations of an M1.4-class solar flare that occurred on 2017 September 6, using data obtained by the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array. This flare event is associated with a partial eruption of a twisted filament observed in Hαby the Goode Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. The extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and X-ray signatures of the event are generally consistent with the standard scenario of eruptive flares, with the presence of double flare ribbons connected by a bright flare arcade. Intriguingly, this partial eruption event features a microwave counterpart, whose spatial and temporal evolution closely follow the filament seen in Hαand EUV. The spectral properties of the microwave source are consistent with nonthermal gyrosynchrotron radiation. Using spatially resolved microwave spectral analysis, we derive the magnetic field strength along the filament spine, which ranges from 600 to 1400 Gauss from its apex to the legs. The results agree well with the nonlinear force-free magnetic model extrapolated from the preflare photospheric more » magnetogram. We conclude that the microwave counterpart of the erupting filament is likely due to flare-accelerated electrons injected into the filament-hosting magnetic flux rope cavity following the newly reconnected magnetic field lines.

« less
; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1654382 1910354 2130832 1821294 1954737
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 213
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Understanding the magnetic structure of filament channels is difficult but essential for identifying the mechanism (s) responsible for solar eruptions. In this paper we characterize the magnetic field in a well-observed filament channel with two independent methods, prominence seismology and magnetohydrodynamics flux-rope modeling, and compare the results. In 2014 May and June, active region 12076 exhibited a complex of filaments undergoing repeated oscillations over the course of 12 days. We measure the oscillation periods in the region with both Global Oscillation Network Group Hαand Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Advanced Imaging Assembly EUV images, and then utilize the pendulum model of large-amplitude longitudinal oscillations to calculate the radius of curvature of the fields supporting the oscillating plasma from the derived periods. We also employ the regularized Biot–Savart laws formalism to construct a flux-rope model of the field of the central filament in the region based on an SDO Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager magnetogram. We compare the estimated radius of curvature, location, and angle of the magnetic field in the plane of the sky derived from the observed oscillations with the corresponding magnetic-field properties extracted from the flux-rope model. We find that the two models are broadly consistent, but detailed comparisonsmore »of the model and specific oscillations often differ. Model observation comparisons such as these are important for advancing our understanding of the structure of filament channels.

    « less
  2. Abstract

    Solar filaments exist as stable structures for extended periods of time before many of them form the core of a coronal mass ejection (CME). We examine the properties of an erupting filament on 2017 May 29–30 with high-resolution Hei10830 Å and Hαspectra from the Dunn Solar Telescope, full-disk Dopplergrams of Hei10830 Å from the Chromospheric Telescope, and EUV and coronograph data from SDO and STEREO. Pre-eruption line-of-sight velocities from an inversion of Heiwith the HAZEL code exhibit coherent patches of 5 Mm extent that indicate counter-streaming and/or buoyant behavior. During the eruption, individual, aligned threads appear in the Heivelocity maps. The distribution of velocities evolves from Gaussian to strongly asymmetric. The maximal optical depth of Hei10830 Å decreased fromτ= 1.75 to 0.25, the temperature increased by 13 kK, and the average speed and width of the filament increased from 0 to 25 km s−1and 10 to 20 Mm, respectively. All data sources agree that the filament rose with an exponential acceleration reaching 7.4 m s−2that increased to a final velocity of 430 km s−1at 22:24 UT; a CME was associated with this filament eruption. The properties during the eruption favor a kink/torus instability, which requires the existence of amore »flux rope. We conclude that full-disk chromospheric Dopplergrams can be used to trace the initial phase of on-disk filament eruptions in real time, which might potentially be useful for modeling the source of any subsequent CMEs.

    « less
  3. Abstract The solar active region NOAA 12887 produced a strong X1.0 flare on 2021 October 28, which exhibits X-shaped flare ribbons and a circle-shaped erupting filament. To understand the eruption process with these characteristics, we conducted a data-constrained magnetohydrodynamics simulation using a nonlinear force-free field of the active region about an hour before the flare as the initial condition. Our simulation reproduces the filament eruption observed in the H α images of GONG and the 304 Å images of SDO/AIA, and suggests that two mechanisms can possibly contribute to the magnetic eruption. One is the torus instability of the preexisting magnetic flux rope (MFR) and the other is upward pushing by magnetic loops newly formed below the MFR via continuous magnetic reconnection between two sheared magnetic arcades. The presence of this reconnection is evidenced by the SDO/AIA observations of the 1600 Å brightening in the footpoints of the sheared arcades at the flare onset. To clarify which process is more essential for the eruption, we performed an experimental simulation in which the reconnection between the sheared field lines is suppressed. In this case too, the MFR could erupt, but at a much reduced rising speed. We interpret this result asmore »indicating that the eruption is not only driven by the torus instability, but additionally accelerated by newly formed and rising magnetic loops under continuous reconnection.« less
  4. Kumar, Pankaj. (Ed.)
    Using multi-wavelength observations, we analysed magnetic field variations associated with a gradual X1.2 flare that erupted on January 7, 2014 in active region (AR) NOAA 11944 located near the disk center. A fast coronal mass ejection (CME) was observed following the flare, which was noticeably deflected in the south-west direction. A chromospheric filament was observed at the eruption site prior to and after the flare. We used SDO/HMI data to perform non-linear force-free field extrapolation of coronal magnetic fields above the AR and to study the evolution of AR magnetic fields prior to the eruption. The extrapolated data allowed us to detect signatures of several magnetic flux ropes present at the eruption site several hours before the event. The eruption site was located under slanted sunspot fields with a varying decay index of 1.0-1.5. That might have caused the erupting fields to slide along this slanted magnetic boundary rather than vertically erupt, thus explaining the slow rise of the flare as well as the observed direction of the resulting CME. We employed sign-singularity tools to quantify the evolutionary changes in the model twist and observed current helicity data, and found rapid and coordinated variations of current systems in both datamore »sets prior to the event as well as their rapid exhaustion after the event onset.« less
  5. Context. We investigate the chromospheric counterpart of small-scale coronal loops constituting a coronal bright point (CBP) and its response to a photospheric magnetic-flux increase accompanied by co-temporal CBP heating. Aims. The aim of this study is to simultaneously investigate the chromospheric and coronal layers associated with a CBP, and in so doing, provide further understanding on the heating of plasmas confined in small-scale loops. Methods. We used co-observations from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly and Helioseismic Magnetic Imager on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory, together with data from the Fast Imaging Solar Spectrograph taken in the H α and Ca  II 8542.1 Å lines. We also employed both linear force-free and potential field extrapolation models to investigate the magnetic topology of the CBP loops and the overlying corona, respectively. We used a new multi-layer spectral inversion technique to derive the temporal variations of the temperature of the H α loops (HLs). Results. We find that the counterpart of the CBP, as seen at chromospheric temperatures, is composed of a bundle of dark elongated features named in this work H α loops, which constitute an integral part of the CBP loop magnetic structure. An increase in the photospheric magnetic flux due tomore »flux emergence is accompanied by a rise of the coronal emission of the CBP loops, that is a heating episode. We also observe enhanced chromospheric activity associated with the occurrence of new HLs and mottles. While the coronal emission and magnetic flux increases appear to be co-temporal, the response of the H α counterpart of the CBP occurs with a small delay of less than 3 min. A sharp temperature increase is found in one of the HLs and in one of the CBP footpoints estimated at 46% and 55% with respect to the pre-event values, also starting with a delay of less than 3 min following the coronal heating episode. The low-lying CBP loop structure remains non-potential for the entire observing period. The magnetic topological analysis of the overlying corona reveals the presence of a coronal null point at the beginning and towards the end of the heating episode. Conclusions. The delay in the response of the chromospheric counterpart of the CBP suggests that the heating may have occurred at coronal heights.« less