Witnessing a Large-scale Slipping Magnetic Reconnection along a Dimming Channel during a Solar Flare

Ju Jing, Rui Liu, Mark C.M. Cheung, Jeongwoo Lee, Yan Xu, Chang Liu, Chunming Zhu, Haimin Wang

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27 Scopus citations


We report the intriguing large-scale dynamic phenomena associated with the M6.5 flare (SOL2015-06-22T18:23) in NOAA active region 12371, observed by RHESSI, Fermi, and the Atmospheric Image Assembly (AIA) and Magnetic Imager (HMI) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The most interesting feature of this event is a third ribbon (R3) arising in the decay phase, propagating along a dimming channel (seen in EUV passbands) toward a neighboring sunspot. The propagation of R3 occurs in the presence of hard X-ray footpoint emission and is broadly visible at temperatures from 0.6 MK to over 10 MK through the differential emission measure analysis. The coronal loops then undergo an apparent slipping motion following the same path of R3, after a ∼80 minute delay. To understand the underlying physics, we investigate the magnetic configuration and the thermal structure of the flaring region. Our results are in favor of a slipping-Type reconnection followed by the thermodynamic evolution of coronal loops. In comparison with those previously reported slipping reconnection events, this one proceeds across a particularly long distance (∼60 Mm) over a long period of time (∼50 minutes) and shows two clearly distinguished phases: The propagation of the footpoint brightening driven by nonthermal particle injection and the apparent slippage of loops governed by plasma heating and subsequent cooling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL18
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: Activity
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic fields


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