Sequential Eruptions Triggered by Flux Emergence: Observations and Modeling
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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We describe and analyze observations by the Solar Dynamics Observatory of the emergence of a small, bipolar active region within an area of unipolar magnetic flux that was surrounded by a circular, quiescent filament. Within only 8 hours from the start of the emergence, a partial splitting of the filament and two consecutive coronal mass ejections took place. We argue that all three dynamic events occurred as a result of particular magnetic-reconnection episodes between the emerging bipole and the pre-existing coronal magnetic field. To substantiate our interpretation, we consider 3D magnetohydrodynamic simulations that model the emergence of magnetic flux in the vicinity of a large-scale coronal flux rope. The simulations qualitatively reproduce most of the reconnection episodes suggested by the observations, as well as the filament splitting, the first eruption, and the formation of shearedtwisted fields that may have played a role in the second eruption. Our results suggest that the position of emerging flux with respect to the background magnetic configuration is a crucial factor for the resulting evolution, while previous results suggest that parameters such as the orientation or the amount of emerging flux are important as well. This poses a challenge for predicting the onset of eruptions that are triggered by flux emergence, and calls for a detailed survey of the relevant parameter space by means of numerical simulations.