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Journal Article

Magnetic Braids in Eruptions of a Spiral Structure in the Solar Atmosphere


Wiegelmann,  Thomas
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Huang, Z., Xia, L., Nelson, C. J., Liu, J., Wiegelmann, T., Tian, H., et al. (2018). Magnetic Braids in Eruptions of a Spiral Structure in the Solar Atmosphere. Astrophysical Journal, 854(2): 80. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aaa9ba.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-31E5-3
We report on high-resolution imaging and spectral observations of eruptions of a spiral structure in the transition region, which were taken with the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The eruption coincided with the appearance of two series of jets, with velocities comparable to the Alfvén speeds in their footpoints. Several pieces of evidence of magnetic braiding in the eruption are revealed, including localized bright knots, multiple well-separated jet threads, transition region explosive events, and the fact that all three of these are falling into the same locations within the eruptive structures. Through analysis of the extrapolated 3D magnetic field in the region, we found that the eruptive spiral structure corresponded well to locations of twisted magnetic flux tubes with varying curl values along their lengths. The eruption occurred where strong parallel currents, high squashing factors, and large twist numbers were obtained. The electron number density of the eruptive structure is found to be ~3 × 1012 cm−3, indicating that a significant amount of mass could be pumped into the corona by the jets. Following the eruption, the extrapolations revealed a set of seemingly relaxed loops, which were visible in the AIA 94 Å channel, indicating temperatures of around 6.3 MK. With these observations, we suggest that magnetic braiding could be part of the mechanisms explaining the formation of solar eruption and the mass and energy supplement to the corona.