Model for straight and helical solar jets
I. Parametric studies of the magnetic field geometry
LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Université Paris
2 Heliophysics Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Received: 14 May 2014
Accepted: 27 November 2014
Context. Jets are dynamic, impulsive, well-collimated plasma events developing at many different scales and in different layers of the solar atmosphere.
Aims. Jets are believed to be induced by magnetic reconnection, a process central to many astrophysical phenomena. Studying their dynamics can help us to better understand the processes acting in larger eruptive events (e.g., flares and coronal mass ejections) as well as mass, magnetic helicity, and energy transfer at all scales in the solar atmosphere. The relative simplicity of their magnetic geometry and topology, compared with larger solar active events, makes jets ideal candidates for studying the fundamental role of reconnection in energetic events.
Methods. In this study, using our recently developed numerical solver ARMS, we present several parametric studies of a 3D numerical magneto-hydrodynamic model of solar-jet-like events. We studied the impact of the magnetic field inclination and photospheric field distribution on the generation and properties of two morphologically different types of solar jets, straight and helical, which can account for the observed so-called standard and blowout jets.
Results. Our parametric studies validate our model of jets for different geometric properties of the magnetic configuration. We find that a helical jet is always triggered for the range of parameters we tested. This demonstrates that the 3D magnetic null-point configuration is a very robust structure for the energy storage and impulsive release characteristic of helical jets. In certain regimes determined by magnetic geometry, a straight jet precedes the onset of a helical jet. We show that the reconnection occurring during the straight-jet phase influences the triggering of the helical jet.
Conclusions. Our results allow us to better understand the energization, triggering, and driving processes of straight and helical jets. Our model predicts the impulsiveness and energetics of jets in terms of the surrounding magnetic field configuration. Finally, we discuss the interpretation of the observationally defined standard and blowout jets in the context of our model, as well as the physical factors that determine which type of jet will occur.
Key words: Sun: corona / magnetic reconnection / magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: flares / Sun: magnetic fields
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