34th Solar Physics Division Meeting, June 2003
Session 5 Coronal Mass Ejections I
Poster, Monday, June 16, 2003, 3:30-5:00pm, Mezzanine

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[5.12] Three Dimensional Reconnection of Untwisted Magnetic Flux Tubes

M. Linton (Naval Research Laboratory), E. Priest (St Andrews University)

Understanding the reconnection of magnetic fields in coronal flux tubes is of key importance for modeling solar coronal flares. We are therefore studying this process via 3D MHD simulations of the reconnection of magnetic flux tubes. Here we will report on a series of such simulations in which pairs of untwisted flux tubes collide and reconnect. We find that in general these collisions flatten the flux tubes into flux sheets and then excite the tearing mode instability. In addition to the tearing mode reconnection, at high collision speed reconnection is simultaneously initiated at a number of other locations, leading to patchy reconnection and a significant tangling of the reconnected fields. In contrast, at low collision speed we find the reconnection is much smoother, and that the coalescence instability follows the tearing mode, causing the reconnected field to merge into a single twisted flux tube. In addition to discussing the global dynamics of these reconnection processes, we will also address the behavior of individual fieldlines as they reconnect, in an effort to more clearly understand how such fieldline reconnection occurs in truly 3D configurations.

This work was supported by NASA, ONR, and PPARC grants.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.