Volume 617, September 2018
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||18 September 2018|
Investigating 4D coronal heating events in magnetohydrodynamic simulations
1 Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics, University of Oslo, PO Box 1029 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
2 Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, PO Box 1029 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
Accepted: 1 July 2018
Context. One candidate model for heating the solar corona is magnetic reconnection that embodies Ohmic dissipation of current sheets. When numerous small-scale magnetic reconnection events occur, then it is possible to heat the corona; if ever observed, these events would have been the speculated nanoflares.
Aims. Because of the limitations of current instrumentation, nanoflares cannot be resolved. But their importance is evaluated via statistics by finding the power-law index of energy distribution. This method is however biased for technical and physical reasons. We aim to overcome limitations imposed by observations and statistical analysis. This way, we identify, and study these small-scale impulsive events.
Methods. We employed a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (3D MHD) simulation using the Bifrost code. We also employed a new technique to identify the evolution of 3D joule heating events in the corona. Then, we derived parameters describing the heating events in these locations, studied their geometrical properties and where they occurred with respect to the magnetic field.
Results. We report on the identification of heating events. We obtain the distribution of duration, released energy, and volume. We also find weak power-law correlation between these parameters. In addition, we extract information about geometrical parameters of 2D slices of 3D events, and about the evolution of resolved joule heating compared to the total joule heating and magnetic energy in the corona. Furthermore, we identify relations between the location of heating events and the magnetic field.
Conclusions. Even though the energy power index is less than 2, when classifying the energy release into three categories with respect to the energy release (pico-, nano-, and micro-events), we find that nano-events release 82% of the resolved energy. This percentage corresponds to an energy flux larger than that needed to heat the corona. Although no direct conclusions can be drawn, it seems that the most popular population among small-scale events is the one that contains nano-scale energetic events that are short lived with small spatial extend. Generally, the locations and size of heating events are affected by the magnitude of the magnetic field.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics: / Sun: corona / Sun: flares / methods: statistical
© ESO 2018
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