A Three-dimensional Study of Reconnection, Current Sheets, and Jets Resulting from Magnetic Flux Emergence in the Sun
We present the results of a set of three-dimensional numerical simulations of magnetic flux emergence from below the photosphere into the corona that include a uniform and horizontal coronal magnetic field mimicking a pre-existing large-scale coronal magnetic system. Cases with different relative orientations of the upcoming and coronal fields are studied. Upon contact, a concentrated current sheet with the shape of an arch or bridge is formed at the interface which marks the positions of
... m jump in the field vector between the two systems. Relative angles above 90 degrees yield abundant magnetic reconnection and plasma heating. The reconnection is seen to be intrisincally three-dimensional in nature, except at singular positions along the current sheet. It drives collimated high-speed and high-temperature outflows only a short distance from the reconnection site that propagate along the ambient magnetic field lines as jets. Due to the low plasma density in the corona, these jets may propagate over large distances and, therefore help distribute high-density and high-temperature plasma along these newly reconnected field lines. The experiments permit to discern and visualize the three-dimensional shape and relative position of the upcoming plasma hill, high-speed jets and subphotospheric flux system. As a result of the reconnection, magnetic field lines from the magnetized plasma below the surface end up as coronal field lines, thus causing a profound change in the connectivity of the magnetic regions in the corona. The experiments presented here thus yield a number of features repeatedly observed with the TRACE satellite and the YOHKOH-SXT detector, like the establishment of connectivity between emergent and pre-existing active regions, local heating and high-velocity outflows.