Guided flows in coronal magnetic flux tubes⋆
1 INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Fisica & Chimica, Università di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
3 Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, MS 58, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Received: 25 August 2017
Accepted: 27 October 2017
Context. There is evidence that coronal plasma flows break down into fragments and become laminar.
Aims. We investigate this effect by modelling flows confined along magnetic channels.
Methods. We consider a full magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model of a solar atmosphere box with a dipole magnetic field. We compare the propagation of a cylindrical flow perfectly aligned with the field to that of another flow with a slight misalignment. We assume a flow speed of 200 km s-1 and an ambient magnetic field of 30 G.
Results. We find that although the aligned flow maintains its cylindrical symmetry while it travels along the magnetic tube, the misaligned one is rapidly squashed on one side, becoming laminar and eventually fragmented because of the interaction and back-reaction of the magnetic field. This model could explain an observation made by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory of erupted fragments that fall back onto the solar surface as thin and elongated strands and end up in a hedge-like configuration.
Conclusions. The initial alignment of plasma flow plays an important role in determining the possible laminar structure and fragmentation of flows while they travel along magnetic channels.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: activity / Sun: corona
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© ESO, 2017