On the Characteristics of Footpoints of Solar Magnetic Flux Ropes during the Eruption [SSA]


We investigate the footpoints of four erupted magnetic flux ropes (MFRs) that appear as sigmoidal hot channels prior to the eruptions in the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly high temperaure passbands. The simultaneous Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager observations disclose that one footpoint of the MFRs originates in the penumbra or penumbra edge with a stronger magnetic field, while the other in the moss region with a weaker magnetic field. The significant deviation of the axis of the MFRs from the main polarity inversion lines and associated filaments suggests that the MFRs have ascended to a high altitude, thus being distinguishable from the source sigmoidal ARs. The more interesting thing is that, with the eruption of the MFRs, the average inclination angle and direct current at the footpoints with stronger magnetic field tend to decrease, which is suggestive of a straightening and untwisting of the magnetic field in the MFR legs. Moreover, the associated flare ribbons also display an interesting evolution. They initially appear as sporadical brightenings at the two footpoints of and in the regions below the MFRs and then quickly extend to two slender sheared J-shaped ribbons with the two hooks corresponding to the two ends of the MFRs. Finally, the straight parts of the two ribbons separate from each other, evolving into two widened parallel ones. These features mostly conforms to and supports the recently proposed three-dimensional standard CME/flare model, i.e., the twisted MFR eruption stretches and leads to the reconnection of the overlying field that transits from a strong to weak shear with the increasing height.

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X. Cheng and M. Ding
Mon, 16 May 16

Comments: 2 tables, 23 pages, 23 figures, Accepted for publication in ApJ Supplement Series