Volume 630, October 2019
|Number of page(s)
|03 October 2019
Formation of coronal rain triggered by impulsive heating associated with magnetic reconnection⋆
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
3 Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Accepted: 3 September 2019
Context. Coronal rain consists of cool plasma condensations formed in coronal loops as a result of thermal instability. The standard models of coronal rain formation assume that the heating is quasi-steady and localised at the coronal loop footpoints.
Aims. We present an observation of magnetic reconnection in the corona and the associated impulsive heating triggering formation of coronal rain condensations.
Methods. We analyse combined SDO/AIA and IRIS observations of a coronal rain event following a reconnection between threads of a low-lying prominence flux rope and surrounding coronal field lines.
Results. The reconnection of the twisted flux rope and open field lines leads to a release of magnetic twist. Evolution of the emission of one of the coronal loops involved in the reconnection process in different AIA bandpasses suggests that the loop becomes thermally unstable and is subject to the formation of coronal rain condensations following the reconnection and that the associated heating is localised in the upper part of the loop leg.
Conclusions. In addition to the standard models of thermally unstable coronal loops with heating localised exclusively in the footpoints, thermal instability and subsequent formation of condensations can be triggered by the impulsive heating associated with magnetic reconnection occurring anywhere along a magnetic field line.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: corona / Sun: magnetic fields / magnetic reconnection
The movie associated to Fig. 1 is available at https://www.aanda.org
© ESO 2019
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