AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 16. Solar Corona
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[16.02] Heating from X-ray Bright Points in the Quiet Sun Corona:\\A Quantitative Model

D. W. Longcope, C. C. Kankelborg (Montana State University)

It has proven difficult to quantify, even approximately, the theoretical heat flux due to magnetic reconnection in the solar corona. Perhaps the simplest example of coronal reconnection is an X-ray bright point, where two isolated concentrations of photospheric flux are swept together. A theory has been recently proposed providing a theoretical estimate of the heat released by reconnection between the two flux concentrations. This energy release depends on the flux of each element, and the strength of the overlying field. The quiet Sun contains a dense intermixture of photospheric flux concentrations of each sign, spanning a wide range of fluxes. We calculate the rate at which these elements collide to produce X-ray bright points, and the energy released by each collision. Combining these ingredients provides quantitative estimates for several properties of the quiet Sun corona, including the heat flux from magnetic reconnection, the surface density of X-ray bright points and their distribution in luminosity. Each of these predictions compares favorably with published observations.

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