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Journal Article

Formation and dynamics of a solar eruptive flux tube

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Büchner,  Jörg
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Inoue, S., Kusano, K., Büchner, J., & Skála, J. (2018). Formation and dynamics of a solar eruptive flux tube. Nature Communications, 9: 174. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-02616-8.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-DF58-3
Abstract
Solar eruptions are well-known drivers of extreme space weather, which can greatly disturb the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere. The triggering process and initial dynamics of these eruptions are still an area of intense study. Here we perform a magnetohydrodynamic simulation taking into account the observed photospheric magnetic field to reveal the dynamics of a solar eruption in a real magnetic environment. In our simulation, we confirmed that tether-cutting reconnection occurring locally above the polarity inversion line creates a twisted flux tube, which is lifted into a toroidal unstable area where it loses equilibrium, destroying the force-free state, and driving the eruption. Consequently, a more highly twisted flux tube is built up during this initial phase, which can be further accelerated even when it returns to a stable area. We suggest that a nonlinear positive feedback process between the flux tube evolution and reconnection is the key to ensure this extra acceleration.