TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space
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Earth Planets Space, Vol. 61 (No. 5), pp. 573-576, 2009

LETTER

Patchy reconnection in a Y-type current sheet

M. G. Linton1, C. R. DeVore1, and D. W. Longcope2

1Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, U.S.A.
2Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, U.S.A.

(Received November 21, 2007; Revised March 24, 2008; Accepted June 20, 2008; Online published May 29, 2009)

Abstract: We study the evolution of the magnetic field in a Y-type current sheet subject to a brief, localized magnetic reconnection event. The reconnection produces up- and down-flowing reconnected flux tubes which rapidly decelerate when they hit the Y-lines and underlying magnetic arcade loops at the ends of the current sheet. This localized reconnection outflow followed by a rapid deceleration reproduces the observed behavior of post-CME downflowing coronal voids. These simulations support the hypothesis that these observed coronal downflows are the retraction of magnetic fields reconnected in localized patches in the high corona.
Key words: Solar, corona, flare, reconnection.


Corresponding author E-mail: linton@nrl.navy.mil


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