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Magnetic loops, downflows, and convection in the solar corona
Foukal, P.
AA(Harvard College Observatory and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass.)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 223, Aug. 1, 1978, p. 1046-1057. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
Solar Physics
NASA/STI Keywords:
Convective Flow, Plasma Dynamics, Solar Corona, Ultraviolet Astronomy, Dense Plasmas, Far Ultraviolet Radiation, Forced Convection, Line Spectra, Lines Of Force, Solar Magnetic Field
Bibliographic Code:


Optical and extreme-ultraviolet observations of solar loop structures show that flows of cool plasma from condensations near the loop apex are a common property of loops associated with radiations whose maximum temperature is greater than approximately 7000 K and less than approximately 3,000,000 K. It is suggested that the mass balance of these structures indicates reconnection by means of plasma motion across field lines under rather general circumstances (not only after flares). It is shown that the cool material has lower gas pressure than the surrounding coronal medium. The density structure of the bright extreme ultraviolet loops suggests that downflows of cool gas result from isobaric condensation of plasma that is either out of thermal equilibrium with the local energy deposition rate into the corona, or is thermally unstable. The evidence is thought to indicate that magnetic fields act to induce a pattern of forced convection.

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