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Nonlinear Parker instability of isolated magnetic flux in a plasma
Shibata, K.; Tajima, T.; Matsumoto, R.; Horiuchi, T.; Hanawa, T.; Rosner, R.; Uchida, Y.
AA(Texas, University, Austin; Aichi University of Education, Kariya, Japan), AB(Texas, University, Austin), AC(Kyoto University, Japan), AD(Max-Planck-Institut für Physik und Astrophysik, Munich, Germany; Nagoya University, Japan)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 338, March 1, 1989, p. 471-492. Research supported by the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Science Program. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
Solar Physics
NASA/STI Keywords:
Chromosphere, Magnetic Flux, Magnetohydrodynamic Stability, Solar Atmosphere, Gravitational Effects, Magnetohydrodynamic Waves, Solar Corona, Velocity Distribution
Bibliographic Code:


The nonlinear evolution of the Parker instability in an isolated horizontal magnetic-flux sheet embedded in a two-temperature layer atmosphere is studied by using a two-dimensional MHD code. In the solar case, this two-layer model is regarded as a simplified abstraction of the sun's photosphere/chromosphere and its overlying much hotter (coronal) envelope. The horizontal flux sheet is initially located in the lower temperature atmosphere so as to satisfy magnetostatic equilibrium under a constant gravitational acceleration. Ideal MHD is assumed, and only perturbations with k parallel to the magnetic-field lines are investigated. As the instability develops, the gas slides down the expanding loop, and the evacuated loop rises as a result of enhanced magnetic buoyancy. In the nonlinear regime of the instability, both the rise velocity of a magnetic loop and the local Alfven velocity at the top of the loop increase linearly with height and show self-similar behavior with height as long as the wavelength of the initial perturbation is much smaller than the horizontal size of the computing domain.

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