Twist and Writhe of the Magnetic Flux in the Super Active Region NOAA 11429
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We used full-disk line-of-sight magnetograms taken by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to study the variation of coronal magnetic helicity in the Active Region (AR) NOAA 11429, where several GOES M- and X-class flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) occurred. The magnetic flux, total magnetic-helicity flux, and helicity accumulation over the period of interest, i.e. 6 to 11 March 2012, were measured and are discussed. We also evaluated the tilt-angle evolution within the standard polarity flux-weighted centroids approach. The AR displays a shearing motion of the magnetic structures along the polarity inversion line, reaching values of about 1.0 km s−1. The variations of magnetic helicity flux and the tilt-angle seem to be time-correlated, and both display three-phase evolutionary patterns. We also found that the flare/CME activity is higher during the first observation phase when the tilt-angle decreases and the negative magnetic helicity is accumulated. The main changes in the accumulated helicity curve are observed only after the onset of the two strongest flare/CME events. After the major event (GOES X5.4 class/CME of 7 March) there was a decrease in the occurrence of flares and CMEs. This phase is marked by a decrease of the flux of magnetic helicity from the convection zone to the corona and a change in the orientation of the tilt of the AR. This behavior suggests that the combination of these two quantities might be important in the description of the magnetic complexity accumulated by an AR during its lifetime.
KeywordsActive regions Magnetic fields, photosphere Velocity fields, photosphere
The project research by the KSU astronomy unit was supported by King Saud University, Deanship of Scientific Research, College of Science Research Center. The research by PR leading to these results has received funding from the European Commissions Seventh Framework Programme under the grant agreements number 284461 (eHEROES project) and No. 312495 (SOLARNET project). AE is partly supported by Chinese Academy of Sciences Fellowships for young international scientists, grant 2012Y1JA0002. The authors wish to thank the referee for their very useful comments and suggestions, which led to a sounder version of the article.
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