A Topological Analysis of the Magnetic Breakout Model for an Eruptive Solar Flare

Rhona Maclean, Colin Beveridge, Dana Longcope, Daniel Brown, Eric Priest

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Abstract

The magnetic breakout model gives an elegant explanation for the onset of an eruptive solar flare, involving magnetic reconnection at a coronal null point which leads to initially enclosed flux 'breaking out' to large distances. In this paper we take a topological approach to the study of the conditions required for this breakout phenomenon to occur. The evolution of a simple delta sunspot model, up to the point of breakout, is analysed through several sequences of potential and linear force-free quasi-static equilibria. We show that any new class of field lines, such as those connecting to large distances, must be created through a global topological bifurcation, and derive rules to predict the topological reconfiguration due to various types of bifurcation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2099-2120
Number of pages22
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume461
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jul 2005

Keywords

  • solar flare
  • magnetic breakout
  • magnetic topology
  • solar corona

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