Microflare Activity Driven By Forced Magnetic Reconnection.

D. B. Jess, M. Mathioudakis, P. K. Browning, P. J. Crockett, F. P. Keenan

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High cadence, multiwavelength, optical observations of a solar active region, obtained with the Swedish Solar Telescope, are presented. Two magnetic bright points are seen to separate in opposite directions at a constant velocity of 2.8 km s(-1). After a separation distance of approximate to 4400 km is reached, multiple Ellerman bombs are observed in both Ha and Ca-K images. As a result of the Ellerman bombs, periodic velocity perturbations in the vicinity of the magnetic neutral line, derived from simultaneous Michelson Doppler Imager data, are generated with amplitude +/-6 km s(-1) and wavelength approximate to 1000 km. The velocity oscillations are followed by an impulsive brightening visible in Ha and Ca-K, with a peak intensity enhancement of 63%. We interpret these velocity perturbations as the magnetic field deformation necessary to trigger forced reconnection. A time delay of approximate to 3 minutes between the Ha-wing and Ca-K observations indicates that the observed magnetic reconnection occurs at a height of similar to 200 km above the solar surface. These observations are consistent with theoretical predictions and provide the first observational evidence of microflare activity driven by forced magnetic reconnection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L111-L115
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Early online date05 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

These observations have been funded by OPTICON, within the Research Infrastructures of FP6. This work is supported by EOARD.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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