Witnessing magnetic twist with high-resolution observation from the 1.6-m New Solar Telescope

Haimin Wang, Wenda Cao, Chang Liu, Yan Xu, Rui Liu, Zhicheng Zeng, Jongchul Chae, Haisheng Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Magnetic flux ropes are highly twisted, current-carrying magnetic fields. They are crucial for the instability of plasma involved in solar eruptions, which may lead to adverse space weather effects. Here we present observations of a flaring using the highest resolution chromospheric images from the 1.6-m New Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory, supplemented by a magnetic field extrapolation model. A set of loops initially appear to peel off from an overall inverse S-shaped flux bundle, and then develop into a multi-stranded twisted flux rope, producing a two-ribbon flare. We show evidence that the flux rope is embedded in sheared arcades and becomes unstable following the enhancement of its twists. The subsequent motion of the flux rope is confined due to the strong strapping effect of the overlying field. These results provide a first opportunity to witness the detailed structure and evolution of flux ropes in the low solar atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7008
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Apr 28 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Witnessing magnetic twist with high-resolution observation from the 1.6-m New Solar Telescope'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this