AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 10 Solar Studies
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[10.04] Magnetic Field Topology of Sigmoids

J. H. Son (University of California, Irvine), R. C. Canfield, L. W. Acton (Montana State University, Bozeman)

Sigmoids are studied due to their eruptive nature, which affects the Earth and the space atmosphere. The shape of the sigmoid (S-shaped or inverse S-shaped) is an indicator of eruption. The origin of this shape has been the topic of many research papers. One such paper by Fan and Gibson, The Emergence of a Twisted Magnetic Flux Tube Into a Preexisting Coronal Arcade, appeared in 2003. Fan and Gibson argue that a sigmoid with left-handed twist has left-handed writhe, which gives the sigmoid its S-shape and right-handed twist the inverse S-shape. Our study determined that there is no correlation between a sigmoid’s handedness and shape as claimed in the paper by Fan and Gibson. Doing a statistical study observing the topology of the sigmoid using the data from Yohkoh Soft X-ray Telescope, we classified each sigmoid by its shape, twist, and magnetic field lines. We found that 23% of our data was right-handed and S-shaped, 33% was left-handed and S-shaped, 22% was right-handed and inverse S-shaped, and 22% was left-handed and inverse-S shaped. Thus, we found no systematic relationship between the handedness and shape of the sigmoid -- in disagreement with Fan and Gibson.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.