AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 20. Pre-eruptive Magnetic Structures
Oral, Monday, June 3, 2002, 10:00-11:30am, San Miguel

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[20.02] Flare Activity and Magnetic Helicity Injection By Photospheric Horizontal Motions

Y.-J. Moon (BBSO/NJIT, KAO), J. Chae (Chungnam National University), G. Choe (PPPL), H. Wang (BBSO/NJIT), Y. D. Park (KAO), H. S. Yun (Seoul National University), V. Yurchyshyn, P. R. Goode (BBSO/NJIT)

We present observational evidence that the occurrence of homologous flares in an active region is physically related to the injection of magnetic helicity by horizontal photospheric motions. We have analyzed a set of 1 minute cadence magnetograms of NOAA AR 8100 taken over a period of 6.5 hours by Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) on board Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). During this observing time span, seven homologous flares took place in the active region. We have computed the magnetic helicity injection rate into the solar atmosphere by photospheric shearing motions, and found that a significant amount of magnetic helicity was injected during the observing period. In a strong M4.1 flare, the magnetic helicity injection rate impulsively increased and peaked at the same time as the X-ray flux did. The flare X-ray flux integrated over the X-ray emission time strongly correlates with the magnetic helicity injected during the flaring interval. The integrated X-ray flux is found to be a logarithmically increasing function of the injected magnetic helicity. Our results suggest that injection of helicity and abrupt increase of helicity magnitude play a significant role in flare triggering.

This work has been supported by NASA grants NAG5-10894 and NAG5-7837, by MURI grant of AFOSR, by the US-Korea Cooperative Science Program (NSF INT-98-16267), by NRL M10104000059-01J000002500 of the Korean government, and by the BK 21 project of the Korean government.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.