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The physical mechanisms that initiate and drive solar eruptions

  • Guillaume Aulanier (a1)

Abstract

Solar eruptions are due to a sudden destabilization of force-free coronal magnetic fields. But the detailed mechanisms which can bring the corona towards an eruptive stage, then trigger and drive the eruption, and finally make it explosive, are not fully understood. A large variety of storage-and-release models have been developed and opposed to each other since 40 years. For example, photospheric flux emergence vs. flux cancellation, localized coronal reconnection vs. large-scale ideal instabilities and loss of equilibria, tether-cutting vs. breakout reconnection, and so on. The competition between all these approaches has led to a tremendous drive in developing and testing all these concepts, by coupling state-of-the-art models and observations. Thanks to these developments, it now becomes possible to compare all these models with one another, and to revisit their interpretation in light of their common and their different behaviors. This approach leads me to argue that no more than two distinct physical mechanisms can actually initiate and drive prominence eruptions: the magnetic breakout and the torus instability. In this view, all other processes (including flux emergence, flux cancellation, flare reconnection and long-range couplings) should be considered as various ways that lead to, or that strengthen, one of the aforementioned driving mechanisms.

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References

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The physical mechanisms that initiate and drive solar eruptions

  • Guillaume Aulanier (a1)

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