Reconnection of a Kinking Flux Rope Triggering the Ejection of a Microwave and Hard X-Ray Source. 2. Numerical Modeling
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC SPACE SCIENCE DIV
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Numerical simulations of the helical m 1 kink instability of an arched, line-tied flux rope demonstrate that the helical deformation enforces reconnection between the legs of the rope if modes with two helical turns are dominant as a result of high initial twist in the range 6 . Such reconnection is complex, involving also the ambient field. In addition to breaking up the original rope, it can form a new, low-lying, less twisted flux rope. The new flux rope is pushed downward by the reconnection outflow, which typically forces it to break as well by reconnecting with the ambient field. The top part of the original rope, largely rooted in the sources of the ambient flux after the breakup can fully erupt or be halted at low heights, producing a failed eruption. The helical current sheet associated with the instability is squeezed between the approaching legs, temporarily forming a double current sheet. The leg-leg reconnection proceeds at a high rate, producing sufficiently strong electric fields that it would be able to accelerate particles. It may also form plasmoids, or plasmoid-like structures, which trap energetic particles and propagate out of the reconnection region up to the top of the erupting flux rope along the helical current sheet. The kinking of a highly twisted flux rope involving leg-leg reconnection can explain key features of an eruptive but partially occulted solar flare on 18 April 2001, which ejected a relatively compact hard X-ray and microwave source and was associated with a fast coronal mass ejection.