Clare E. Parnell - University of St Andrews

Clare E. Parnell
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Name
Clare E. Parnell
Affiliation
University of St Andrews
Country
United Kingdom

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (14)
 
Physics - Plasma Physics (3)
 
Astrophysics (2)
 
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (2)

Publications Authored By Clare E. Parnell

Magnetic separators, which lie on the boundary between four topologically-distinct flux domains, are prime locations in three-dimensional magnetic fields for reconnection, especially in the magnetosphere between the planetary and interplanetary magnetic field and also in the solar atmosphere. Little is known about the details of separator reconnection and so the aim of this paper, which is the first of two, is to study the properties of magnetic reconnection at a single separator. Three-dimensional, resistive magnetohydrodynamic numerical experiments are run to study separator reconnection starting from a magnetohydrostatic equilibrium which contains a twisted current layer along a single separator linking a pair of opposite-polarity null points. Read More

Sudden destabilisations of the magnetic field, such as those caused by spontaneous reconnection, will produce waves and/or flows. Here, we investigate the nature of the plasma motions resulting from spontaneous reconnection at a 3D separator. In order to clearly see these perturbations, we start from a magnetohydrostatic equilibrium containing two oppositely-signed null points joined by a generic separator along which lies a twisted current layer. Read More

While theoretical models and simulations of magnetic reconnection often assume symmetry such that the magnetic null point when present is co-located with a flow stagnation point, the introduction of asymmetry typically leads to non-ideal flows across the null point. To understand this behavior, we present exact expressions for the motion of three-dimensional linear null points. The most general expression shows that linear null points move in the direction along which the vector field and its time derivative are antiparallel. Read More

The distribution of magnetic flux across the solar photosphere results in a complex web of coronal magnetic field structures. To understand this complexity, the magnetic skeleton of the coronal field can be calculated. The skeleton highlights the separatrix surfaces that divide the field into topologically distinct regions, allowing open-field regions on the solar surface to be located. Read More

In this paper we study current accumulations in 3D "tilted" nulls formed by a folding of the spine and fan. A non-zero component of current parallel to the fan is required such that the null's fan plane and spine are not perpendicular. Our aims are to provide valid magnetohydrostatic equilibria and to describe the current accumulations in various cases involving finite plasma pressure. Read More

The removal of magnetic flux from the quiet-sun photosphere is important for maintaining the statistical steady-state of the magnetic field there, for determining the magnetic flux budget of the Sun, and for estimating the rate of energy injected into the upper solar atmosphere. Magnetic feature death is a measurable proxy for the removal of detectable flux. We used the SWAMIS feature tracking code to understand how nearly 20000 detected magnetic features die in an hour-long sequence of Hinode/SOT/NFI magnetograms of a region of quiet Sun. Read More

Determining the heating mechanism (or mechanisms) that causes the outer atmosphere of the Sun, and many other stars, to reach temperatures orders of magnitude higher than their surface temperatures has long been a key problem. For decades the problem has been known as the coronal heating problem, but it is now clear that `coronal heating' cannot be treated or explained in isolation and that the heating of the whole solar atmosphere must be studied as a highly coupled system. The magnetic field of the star is known to play a key role, but, despite significant advancements in solar telescopes, computing power and much greater understanding of theoretical mechanisms, the question of which mechanism or mechanisms are the dominant supplier of energy to the chromosphere and corona is still open. Read More

Context: The majority of studies on stressed 3D magnetic null points consider magnetic reconnection driven by an external perturbation, but the formation of a genuine current sheet equilibrium remains poorly understood. This problem has been considered more extensively in two-dimensions, but lacks a generalization into 3D fields. Aims: 3D magnetic nulls are more complex than 2D nulls and the field can take a greater range of magnetic geometries local to the null. Read More

Magnetic neutral points, where the magnitude of the magnetic field vanishes locally, are potential locations for energy conversion in the solar corona. The fact that the magnetic field is identically zero at these points suggests that for the study of current sheet formation and of any subsequent resistive dissipation phase, a finite beta plasma should be considered, rather than neglecting the plasma pressure as has often been the case in the past. The rapid dissipation of a finite current layer in non-force-free equilibrium is investigated numerically, after the sudden onset of an anomalous resistivity. Read More

We provide a valid magnetohydrostatic equilibrium from the collapse of a 2D X-point in the presence of a finite plasma pressure, in which the current density is not simply concentrated in an infinitesimally thin, one-dimensional current sheet, as found in force-free solutions. In particular, we wish to determine if a finite pressure current sheet will still involve a singular current, and if so, what is the nature of the singularity. We use a full MHD code, with the resistivity set to zero, so that reconnection is not allowed, to run a series of experiments in which an X-point is perturbed and then is allowed to relax towards an equilibrium, via real, viscous damping forces. Read More

Context. For the last thirty years, most of the studies on the relaxation of stressed magnetic fields in the solar environment have onlyconsidered the Lorentz force, neglecting plasma contributions, and therefore, limiting every equilibrium to that of a force-free field. Aims. Read More

This paper describes a new 2D model for the photospheric evolution of the magnetic carpet. It is the first in a series of papers working towards constructing a realistic 3D non-potential model for the interaction of small-scale solar magnetic fields. In the model, the basic evolution of the magnetic elements is governed by a supergranular flow profile. Read More

The importance of magnetic reconnection as an energy release mechanism in many solar, stellar, magnetospheric and astrophysical phenomena has long been recognised. Reconnection is the only mechanism by which magnetic fields can globally restructure, enabling them to access a lower energy state. Over the past decade, there have been some major advances in our understanding of three-dimensional reconnection. Read More

Magnetic null points can be located numerically in a potential field extrapolation or their average density can be estimated from the Fourier spectrum of a magnetogram. We use both methods to compute the null point density from a quiet Sun magnetogram made with Hinode's NFI and from magnetograms from SOHO's MDI in both its high-resolution and low-resolution modes. All estimates of the super-chromospheric column density (z>1. Read More

2007Jun
Affiliations: 1University of St Andrews, 2University of St Andrews
Category: Astrophysics

Null points are important locations in vector fields, such as a magnetic field. A new technique (a trilinear method for finding null points) is presented for finding null points over a large grid of points, such as those derived from a numerical experiment. The method was designed so that the null points found would agree with any fieldlines traced using the commonly used trilinear interpolation. Read More

2007Feb
Affiliations: 1University of St Andrews, 2University of St Andrews, 3Niels Bohr Institute, 4University of St Andrews
Category: Astrophysics

The heating of the solar corona is likely to be due to reconnection of the highly complex magnetic field that threads throughout its volume. We have run a numerical experiment of an elementary interaction between the magnetic field of two photospheric sources in an overlying field that represents a fundamental building block of the coronal heating process. The key to explaining where, how and how much energy is released during such an interaction is to calculate the resulting evolution of the magnetic skeleton. Read More