Evidence of a Plasmoid-Looptop Interaction and Magnetic Inflows During a Solar Flare/Coronal Mass Ejection Eruptive Event

Ryan O. Milligan, R. T. James McAteer, Brian R. Dennis, C. Alex Young

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37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Observational evidence is presented for the merging of a downward-propagating plasmoid with a looptop kernel during an occulted limb event on 2007 January 25. RHESSI light curves in the 9-18 keV energy range, as well as that of the 245 MHz channel of the Learmonth Solar Observatory, show enhanced nonthermal emission in the corona at the time of the merging suggesting that additional particle acceleration took place. This was attributed to a secondary episode of reconnection in the current sheet that formed between the two merging sources. RHESSI images were used to establish a mean downward velocity of the plasmoid of 12 km s-1. Complementary observations from the SECCHI suite of instruments on board STEREO-B showed that this process occurred during the acceleration phase of the associated coronal mass ejection (CME). From wavelet-enhanced EUV Imager, image evidence of inflowing magnetic field lines prior to the CME eruption is also presented. The derived inflow velocity was found to be 1.5 km s-1. This combination of observations supports a recent numerical simulation of plasmoid formation, propagation, and subsequent particle acceleration due to the tearing mode instability during current sheet formation....
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1292-1300
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Volume713
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

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