Evolution of Photospheric Vector Magnetic Field Associated with Moving Flare Ribbons as Seen by GST

Chang Liu, Wenda Cao, Jongchul Chae, Kwangsu Ahn, Debi Prasad Choudhary, Jeongwoo Lee, Rui Liu, Na Deng, Jiasheng Wang, Haimin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The photospheric response to solar flares, also known as coronal back reaction, is often observed as sudden flare-induced changes in the vector magnetic field and sunspot motions. However, it remains obscure whether evolving flare ribbons, the flare signature closest to the photosphere, are accompanied by changes in vector magnetic field therein. Here we explore the relationship between the dynamics of flare ribbons in the chromosphere and variations of magnetic fields in the underlying photosphere, using high-resolution off-band Hα images and near-infrared vector magnetograms of the M6.5 flare on 2015 June 22 observed with the 1.6 m Goode Solar Telescope. We find that changes of photospheric fields occur at the arrival of the flare ribbon front, thus propagating analogously to flare ribbons. In general, the horizontal field increases and the field lines become more inclined to the surface. When ribbons sweep through regions that undergo a rotational motion, the fields transiently become more vertical with decreased horizontal field and inclination angle, and then restore and/or become more horizontal than before the ribbon arrival. The ribbon propagation decelerates near the sunspot rotation center, where the vertical field becomes permanently enhanced. Similar magnetic field changes are discernible in magnetograms from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI), and an inward collapse of coronal magnetic fields is inferred from the time sequence of nonlinear force-free field models extrapolated from HMI magnetograms. We conclude that photospheric fields respond nearly instantaneously to magnetic reconnection in the corona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume869
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 10 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic fields

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