Magnetic Separatrix as the Source Region of the Plasma Supply for an Active-region Filament

P. Zou, C. Fang, P. F. Chen, K. Yang, Wenda Cao

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13 Scopus citations


Solar filaments can be formed via chromospheric evaporation followed by condensation in the corona or by the direct injection of cool plasma from the chromosphere to the corona. We here confirm with high-resolution Hα data observed by the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope of the Big Bear Solar Observatory on 2015 August 21 that an active-region filament is maintained by the continuous injection of cold chromospheric plasma. We find that the filament is rooted along a bright ridge in Hα, which corresponds to the intersection of a magnetic quasi-separatrix layer with the solar surface. This bright ridge consists of many small patches whose sizes are comparable to the width of the filament threads. It is found that upflows originate from the brighter patches of the ridge, whereas the downflows move toward the weaker patches of the ridge. The whole filament is composed of two opposite-direction streams, implying that longitudinal oscillations are not the only cause of the counterstreamings, and unidirectional siphon flows with alternative directions are another possibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: chromosphere
  • Sun: filaments, prominences
  • Sun: magnetic fields


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