The Role of Eruption in Solar Flares
This article focuses on two problems involved in the development of models of solar flares. The first concerns the mechanism responsible for eruptions, such as erupting filaments or coronal mass ejections, that are sometimes involved in the flare process. The concept of ‘loss of equilibrium’ is considered and it is argued that the concept typically arises in thought-experiments that do not represent acceptable physical behavior of the solar atmosphere. It is proposed instead that such eruptions are probably caused by an instability of a plasma configuration. The instability may be purely MHD, or it may combine both MHD and resistive processes. The second problem concerns the mechanism of energy release of the impulsive (or gradual) phase. It is proposed that this phase of flares may be due to current interruption, as was originally proposed by Alfvén and Carlqvist. However, in order for this process to be viable, it seems necessary to change one’s ideas about the heating and structure of the corona in ways that are outlined briefly.
KeywordsCurrent Sheet Solar Phys Solar Flare Flux Tube Current Interruption
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