Studying the Transfer of Magnetic Helicity in Solar Active Regions with the Connectivity-based Helicity Flux Density Method

K. Dalmasse, Pariat, G. Valori, Ju Jing, P. Démoulin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the solar corona, magnetic helicity slowly and continuously accumulates in response to plasma flows tangential to the photosphere and magnetic flux emergence through it. Analyzing this transfer of magnetic helicity is key for identifying its role in the dynamics of active regions (ARs). The connectivity-based helicity flux density method was recently developed for studying the 2D and 3D transfer of magnetic helicity in ARs. The method takes into account the 3D nature of magnetic helicity by explicitly using knowledge of the magnetic field connectivity, which allows it to faithfully track the photospheric flux of magnetic helicity. Because the magnetic field is not measured in the solar corona, modeled 3D solutions obtained from force-free magnetic field extrapolations must be used to derive the magnetic connectivity. Different extrapolation methods can lead to markedly different 3D magnetic field connectivities, thus questioning the reliability of the connectivity-based approach in observational applications. We address these concerns by applying this method to the isolated and internally complex AR 11158 with different magnetic field extrapolation models. We show that the connectivity-based calculations are robust to different extrapolation methods, in particular with regard to identifying regions of opposite magnetic helicity flux. We conclude that the connectivity-based approach can be reliably used in observational analyses and is a promising tool for studying the transfer of magnetic helicity in ARs and relating it to their flaring activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number141
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume852
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: photosphere
  • magnetic fields

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