EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 441, Number 1, October I 2005
Page(s) 353 - 360
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20042255

A&A 441, 353-360 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20042255

Indirect calculation of the magnetic reconnection rate from flare loops

J. B. Noglik1, R. W. Walsh1 and J. Ireland2

1  Centre for Astrophysics, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR2 2HE, UK
    e-mail: jbnoglik@uclan.ac.uk
2  L-3 Communications Government Services Inc, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA

(Received 26 October 2004 / Accepted 23 June 2005)

High time resolution Transition Region And Coronal Explorer (TRACE) 171 and 195 Å observations of the evolution of flare loops on 1999 March 18 have been investigated. Given the location of the magnetic loops on the northeast solar limb and the cadence of the TRACE observations (~50 s), an estimation of the footpoint velocity due to ongoing reconnection was undertaken. This was achieved by calculating the velocity at which successive loops brighten in the emission lines during the postflare phase. A typical footpoint velocity of 1.5 km s $^{-1} \pm0.7$ km s-1 is obtained and a reconnection rate of ~0.001-0.03 is determined using the method outlined in Isobe et al. (2002, ApJ, 566, 528). This value for the reconnection rate is consistent with the regime outlined by Petschek's model for magnetic reconnection.

Key words: Sun: UV radiation -- Sun: magnetic fields -- Sun: corona

© ESO 2005