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  1. Abstract Magnetic flux rope, a type of magnetic field structure in space plasmas, has been studied for decades through both observational and theoretical means. We provide a brief report on our recent modeling study of its magnetic field configuration based on in-situ spacecraft measurements, focusing on those made for large-scale flux ropes in the interplanetary space. We illustrate the complexity in its field-line topology by presenting two event studies employing a unique analysis method. In particular, we demonstrate the feasibility and challenges for the approach to use two or more in-situ spacecraft datasets. We discuss the implications of our results and offer some thoughts on further advancing the investigation of the nature of the magnetic flux rope.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    We reconstruct the morphology and kinematics of a series of small transients that erupted from the Sun on 2021 April 24 using observations primarily from Parker Solar Probe (PSP). These sequential small coronal mass ejections (CMEs) may be the product of a continuous reconnection at a current sheet, which is a macroscopic example of the more microscopic reconnection activity that has been proposed to accelerate the solar wind more generally. These particular CMEs are of interest because they are the first CMEs to hit PSP and be simultaneously imaged by it, using the Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR) instrument. Based on imaging from WISPR and STEREO-A, we identify and model six discrete transients, and determine that it is the second of them (CME2) that first hits PSP, although PSP later more obliquely also encounters the third transient. Signatures of these encounters are seen in the PSP in situ data. Within these data, we identify six candidate magnetic flux ropes (MFRs), all but one of which are associated with the second transient. The five CME2 MFRs have orientations that are roughly consistent with PSP encountering the right-hand sides of roughly E-W oriented MFRs, which are sloping back toward themore »Sun.

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  3. Abstract Understanding the mechanisms underlying the heating of the solar atmosphere is a fundamental problem in solar physics. In this paper, we present an overview of our research on understanding the heating mechanism of the solar active region atmosphere in chromosphere. We investigate Joule heating due to the dissipation of currents perpendicular to the magnetic field by the Cowling resistivity using a data-constrained analysis based on observational and tabulated theoretical/semi-empirical solar atmosphere model data. As target region, we focus on a sunspot umbral light bridge where we find that this heating mechanism plays an important role and is also highly dynamic.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    In this paper, we study the evolution of the X5.4 flare (SOL2012-03-07T00:02) in NOAA Active Region 11429, focusing on its initiation mechanisms and back-reaction effects. To help our study, three-dimensional (3D) coronal magnetic field models are extrapolated from the photospheric magnetograms of the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory under the assumptions of nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) and non-force-free field (non-FFF). We investigate the 3D magnetic structure and MHD kink instability, torus instability, and double-arc instability (DAI), and find that this flare is most likely triggered by the tether-cutting reconnection and the subsequent DAI. For the back-reactions of the flare, both NLFFF and non-FFF models clearly show an increase in horizontal magnetic field (Bh) and a decrease in inclination angle (ϕ) of the magnetic field near the polarity inversion line, from the photosphere up to a certain height (5 Mm and 8 Mm for non-FFF and NLFFF, respectively). In addition, the non-FFF model shows an enhancement of the downward Lorentz force acting on the photosphere, and the location of the enhancement spatially coincides with the location of the flare onset. The observed back-reaction is likely a consequence of magnetic reconnection.

  5. Abstract Using in situ measurements from the Parker Solar Probe and Wind spacecraft, we investigate the small-scale magnetic flux ropes (SFRs) and their properties inside stream interaction regions (SIRs). Within SIRs from ∼0.15 to 1 au, SFRs are found to exist in a wide range of solar wind speeds with more frequent occurrences after the stream interface, and the Alfvénicity of these structures decreases significantly with increasing heliocentric distances. Furthermore, we examine the variation of five corresponding SIRs from the same solar sources. The enhancements of suprathermal electrons within these SIRs persist at 1 au and are observed multiple times. An SFR appears to occur repeatedly with the recurring SIRs and is traversed by the Wind spacecraft at least twice. This set of SFRs has similarities in variations of the magnetic field components, plasma bulk properties, density ratio of solar wind alpha and proton particles, and unidirectional suprathermal electrons. We also show, through the detailed time-series plots and Grad–Shafranov reconstruction results, that they possess the same chirality and carry comparable amounts of magnetic flux. Lastly, we discuss the possibility for these recurring SFRs to be formed via interchange reconnection, maintain the connection with the Sun, and survive up to 1more »au.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  6. Increasingly one interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) structure can propagate across more than one spacecraft in the solar wind. This usually happens when two or more spacecraft are nearly radially aligned with a relatively small longitudinal separation angle from one another. This provides multi-point measurements of the same structure and enables better characterization and validation of modeling results of the structures embedded in these ICMEs. We report such an event during October 13-14, 2019 when the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory Ahead (STA) spacecraft and the Parker Solar Probe (PSP) crossed one ICME structure at two different locations with nominal separations in both heliocentric distances and the longitudinal angles. We first perform an optimal fitting to the STA in-situ measurements, based on an analytic quasi-three dimensional (3D) model, yielding a minimum reduced χ 2 = 0.468. Then we further apply the optimization approach by combining the magnetic field measurements from both spacecraft along their separate paths across the ICME structure. We find that the output based on the optimization (with the minimum reduced χ 2 = 3.15) of the combined two-spacecraft dataset yields a more consistent result, given the much improved agreement of the model output with PSP data. The resultmore »demonstrates a magnetic flux rope configuration with clear 3D spatial variations.« less
  7. Abstract In order to bridge the gap between heliospheric and solar observations of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), one of the key steps is to improve the understanding of their corresponding magnetic structures like the magnetic flux ropes (MFRs). But it remains a challenge to confirm the existence of a coherent MFR before or upon the CME eruption on the Sun and to quantitatively characterize the CME-MFR due to the lack of direct magnetic field measurements in the corona. In this study, we investigate MFR structures originating from two active regions (ARs), AR 11719 and AR 12158, and estimate their magnetic properties quantitatively. We perform nonlinear force-free field extrapolations with preprocessed photospheric vector magnetograms. In addition, remote-sensing observations are employed to find indirect evidence of MFRs on the Sun and to analyze the time evolution of magnetic reconnection flux associated with the flare ribbons during the eruption. A coherent “preexisting” MFR structure prior to the flare eruption is identified quantitatively for one event from the combined analysis of the extrapolation and observation. Then the characteristics of MFRs for two events on the Sun before and during the eruption forming the CME-MFR, including the axial magnetic flux, field line twist, and reconnectionmore »flux, are estimated and compared with the corresponding in situ modeling results. We find that the magnetic reconnection associated with the accompanying flares for both events injects a significant amount of flux into the erupted CME-MFRs.« less
  8. Abstract

    Onestrongmagnetic cloud (MC) with a magnetic field magnitude reaching ∼40 nT at 1 au during 2012 June 16–17 is examined in association with a preexisting magnetic flux rope (MFR) identified on the Sun. The MC is characterized by a quasi-three-dimensional (3D) flux rope model based on in situ measurements from the Wind spacecraft. The contents of the magnetic flux and other parameters are quantified. In addition, a correlative study with the corresponding measurements of the same structure crossed by the Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft at a heliocentric distance of 0.7 au and with an angular separation of ∼6° in longitude is performed to validate the MC modeling results. The spatial variation between the Wind and VEX magnetic field measurements is attributed to the 3D configuration of the structure appearing as a knotted bundle of flux. A comparison of the magnetic flux contents between the MC and the preexisting MFR on the Sun indicates that the 3D reconnection process accompanying an M1.9 flare may correspond to the magnetic reconnection between the field lines of the preexisting MFR rooted in the opposite polarity footpoints. Such a process reduces the amount of the axial magnetic flux in the erupted flux rope, bymore »approximately 50%, in this case.

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  9. Abstract This work analyzes the Hall magnetohydrodynamics (HMHD) and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) numerical simulations of a flaring solar active region as a test bed while idealizing the coronal Alfvén speed to be less by two orders of magnitude. HMHD supports faster magnetic reconnection and shows richer complexity in magnetic field line evolution compared to the MHD. The magnetic reconnections triggering the flare are explored by numerical simulations augmented with relevant multiwavelength observations. The initial coronal magnetic field is constructed by non-force-free extrapolation of photospheric vector magnetic field. Magnetic structure involved in the flare is identified to be a flux rope, with its overlying magnetic field lines constituting the quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs) along with a three-dimensional null point and a null line. Compared to the MHD simulation, the HMHD simulation shows a higher and faster ascent of the rope together with the overlying field lines, which further reconnect at the QSL located higher up in the corona. The footpoints of the field lines match better with the observations for the HMHD case, with the central part of the flare ribbon located at the chromosphere. Additionally, field lines are found to rotate in a circular pattern in the HMHD, whereas no such rotationmore »is seen in the MHD results. Interestingly, plasma is also observed to be rotating in a cospatial chromospheric region, which makes the HMHD simulation more credible. Based on the aforementioned agreements, HMHD simulation is found to agree better with observations and thus opens up a novel avenue to explore.« less