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We study the correlation between the speed of two-ribbon separation and the magnetic flux density during the 2001 April 10 solar flare. A weak negative correlation is found between the ribbon separation speed (Vr) and the longitudinal magnetic flux density (Bz). In addition, we estimate the magnetic reconnection rate (Erec). Along the flare ribbons, Erec fluctuates in the small range except near the HXR source. The localized enhancement of the reconnection rate corresponds to the position of the HXR source.
In this paper, we investigate whether incorporating sunspot-groups classification information would further improve the performance of our previous logistic regression based solar flare forecasting method, which uses only line-of-sight photospheric magnetic parameters. A dataset containing 4913 samples from the year 2000 to 2005 is constructed, in which 2721 samples from the year 2000, 2002 and 2004 are used as a training set, and the remaining 2192 samples from the year 2001, 2003 and 2005 are used as a testing set. Experimental results show that sunspot-groups classification combined with total gradient on the strong gradient polarity neutral line achieve the highest forecasting accuracy and thus it testifies sunspot-groups classification does help in solar flare forecasting.
In this paper we summarize the studies of flare-related changes of photospheric magnetic fields. When vector magnetograms are available, we always find an increase of transverse field at the polarity inversion line (PIL). We also discuss 1 minute cadence line-of-sight MDI magnetogram observations, which usually show prominent changes of magnetic flux contained in the flaring δ spot region. The observed limb-ward flux increases while disk-ward flux decreases rapidly and irreversibly after flares. These observations provides evidences, either direct or indirect, for the theory and prediction of Hudson, Fisher & Welsch (2008) that the photospheric magnetic fields would respond to coronal field restructuring and turn to a more horizontal state near the PIL after eruptions. From the white-light observations, we find that at flaring PIL, the structure becomes darker after an eruption, while the peripheral penumbrae decay. Using high-resolution Hinode data, we find evidence that only dark fibrils in the “uncombed” penumbral structure disappear while the bright grains evolve to G-band bright points after flares.
Evolution of sunspot structure and photospheric magnetic fields are important to understand how the flare energy is built up and released. With high-resolution optical data, it is possible to examine in details the optical flows of the photosphere and their relationship to the flaring process. Using G-band and Stokes-V data obtained with Hinode Solar Optical Telescope (SOT), we study the sunspot motion and flow fields associated with the 2006 December 13 X3.4 flare in NOAA AR 10930. We calculate the centroids of the delta spot umbrae lying in opposite magnetic polarities, and use two different methods to derive the photospheric flow fields of the AR. We find that the shearing motion before the flare changes to unshearing motion associated with the eruption. A decrease of average velocity of shear flow is found to be associated with the flare, with a magnitude of 0.2 km s−1.
As a related study, we also test implementing the recently developed differential affine velocity estimator for vector magnetograms (DAVE4VM; Schuck, P. W 2008) technique for the magnetic field observations obtained by the Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) and Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) on board the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO). Using this method to analyze changes of active region magnetic fields associated with flares may shed new light on the cause and effect of flaring process.
How magnetic field structure changes with eruptive events (e.g., flares and CMEs) has been a long-standing problem in solar physics. Here we present the analysis of eruption-associated changes in the magnetic inclination angle, the transverse component of magnetic field and the Lorentz force. The analysis is based on an observation of the X3.4 flare on Dec.13 2006 and a numerical simulation of a solar eruption made by Yuhong Fan. Both observation and simulation show that (1) the magnetic inclination angle in the decayed peripheral penumbra increases, while that in the central area close to flaring polarity inversion line (PIL) deceases after the flare; (2) the transverse component of magnetic field increases at the lower altitude near flaring PIL after the flare. The result suggests that the field lines at flaring neutral line turn to more horizontal near the surface, that is in agreement with the prediction of Hudson, Fisher & Welsch (2008).
Using Hinode SP and G-band observations, we examined the relationship between magnetic field structure and penumbral length as well as Evershed flow speed. The latter two are positively correlated with magnetic inclination angle or horizontal field strength within 1.5 kilogauss, which is in agreement with recent magnetoconvective simulations of Evershed effect. This work thus provides direct observational evidence supporting the magnetoconvection nature of penumbral structure and Evershed flow in the presence of strong and inclined magnetic field.
This paper reviews observations on the evolution of magnetic fields and flows in active regions which produce major flares. It includes the following topics: (1) Relationship between magnetic shear and flares; (2) Relationship between electric currents and flares; (3) Flows in active regions, particularly the emergence of new flux inside sheared penumbrae, and the mixed magnetic polarity nature of this kind of flux emergence; and (4) Changes of magnetic structure immediately before and after major solar flares; in particular, I will describe some recent findings that shear may increase after major flares.
Using the 155 hours of coordinated observing data of Huairou and Big Bear Solar Observatories, the lifetimes of network elements have been determined by different ways. The sample of network elements has been chosen on a strict criterion in order to reduce the bias. Two statistical methods with different considerations show a mean lifetime of elements of 49.20 hours and 54.92 hours, respectively. The least-square fit method provides an average lifetime of 55.84 hours.
During September 24-29, 1987, the longitudinal magnetic fields of a decaying active region (AR 4855) were observed almost continuously at Big Bear and Huairou Solar Observatories. The target consisted of an αp sunspot and surrounding enhanced network. We achieved a 75-hour coverage with 4 night-time gaps of six to eight hours. The images were then combined to made a continuous movie.
The BBSO Videomagnetograph (VMG) System was originally developed by Leighton and Smithson and has been improved in recent years (Zirin, 1985). This system has made it possible to study very weak photospheric magnetic structures.
Previous work relating flares to evolutionary changes of photospheric solar magnetic fields are reviewed and reinterpreted in the light of recent observations of cancelling magnetic fields. In line-of-sight magnetograms and H-alpha filtergrams from Big Bear Solar Observatory, we confirm the following 3 associations: (a) the occurrence of many flares in the vicinity of emerging magnetic flux regions (Rust, 1974), but only at locations where cancellation has been observed or inferred; (b) the occurrence of flares at sites where the magnetic flux is increasing on one side of a polarity inversion line and concurrently decreasing on the other (Martres et al, 1968; Ribes, 1969); and (c) the occurrence of flares at sites where cancellation is the only observed change in the magnetograms for at least several hours before a flare (Martin, Livi, and Wang, 1985). Because cancellation (or the localized decrease in the line-of-sight component of magnetic flux) is the only common factor in all of these circumstances, suggest that cancellation is the more general association that includes the other associations as special cases. We propose the hypothesis that cancellation is a necessary, evolutionary precondition for flares. We also confirm the observation of Martin, Livi, and Wang (1985) that the initial parts of flares occur in close proximity to cancellation sites but that during later phases, the flare emission can spread to other parts of the magnetic field that are weak, strong, or not cancelling.
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