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Surface appearance of dynamo-generated large-scale fields
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
2010 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 523, A19- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: Twisted magnetic fields are frequently seen to emerge above the visible surface of the Sun. This emergence is usually associated with the rise of buoyant magnetic flux structures. Here we ask how magnetic fields from a turbulent large-scale dynamo appear above the surface if there is no magnetic buoyancy. Methods: The computational domain is split into two parts. In the lower part, which we refer to as the turbulence zone, the flow is driven by an assumed helical forcing function leading to dynamo action. Above this region, which we refer to as the exterior, a nearly force-free magnetic field is computed at each time step using the stress-and-relax method. Results: Twisted arcade-like field structures are found to emerge in the exterior above the turbulence zone. Strong current sheets tend to form above the neutral line, where the vertical field component vanishes. Time series of the magnetic field structure show recurrent plasmoid ejections. The degree to which the exterior field is force free is estimated as the ratio of the dot product of current density and magnetic field strength to their respective rms values. This ratio reaches values of up to 95% in the exterior. A weak outward flow is driven by the residual Lorentz force.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 523, A19- p.
Keyword [en]
magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), turbulence, stars: magnetic field, Sun: dynamo, Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs)
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-50483DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201014287OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-50483DiVA: diva2:381585
Available from: 2011-01-05 Created: 2010-12-28 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Flux emergence: flares and coronal mass ejections driven by dynamo action underneath the solar surface
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Flux emergence: flares and coronal mass ejections driven by dynamo action underneath the solar surface
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Helically shaped magnetic field structuresknown as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are closely related to so-called eruptive flares. On the one hand, these events are broadly believed to be due tothe buoyant rise of magnetic flux tubes from the bottom of the convection zone to the photosphere where they form structures such as sunspots. On the other hand, models of eruptive flares and CMEs have no connection to the convection zone and the magnetic field generated bydynamo action. It is well known that a dynamo can produce helical structures and twisted magnetic fields as observed in the Sun. In this work we ask, how a dynamo-generated magnetic field appears above the surface without buoyancy force and how this field evolves inthe outer atmosphere of the Sun.

We apply a new approach of a two layer model, where the lower one represents the convection zone and the upper one the solar corona. The two layers are included in one single simulation domain. In the lower layer, we use a helical forcing function added to the momentum equation to create a turbulent dynamo. Due to dynamo action, a large-scale field is formed. As a first step we use a Cartesian cube. We solve the equations of the so-called force-free model in the upper layer to create nearly force-free coronal magnetic fields. In a second step we use a spherical wedge, which extends radially from 0.7 to 2 solar radii. We include density stratification due to gravity in anisothermal domain. The wedge includes both hemispheres of the Sun and we apply a helicalforcing with different signs in each hemisphere.

As a result, a large-scale field is generated by a turbulent dynamo acting underneath the surface. Due to the latitudinal variation of the helicity produced by the helical forcing, the dynamo is oscillating in the spherical wedge. Twisted magnetic fields emerge above the surface and form arch-like structures with strong current sheets. Plasmoids and CME-like structures are ejected recurrently into the outerlayers. In the spherical simulations we find that the magnetic helicity changes sign in the exterior, which is in agreement with recent analysis of the solar wind data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
010 Publishers, 2011. 95 p.
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy; Theoretical Astrophysics; Space and Plasma Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-70609 (URN)
Presentation
2011-05-06, FB52, Albanova Universitet Centrum, 13:22 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2012-01-23 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved
2. Combining Models of Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Dynamos
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Combining Models of Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Dynamos
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Observations show that Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are associated with twisted magnetic flux configurations. Conventionally, CMEs are modeled by shearing and twisting the footpoints of a certain distribution of magnetic flux at the solar surface and letting it evolve at the surface. Of course, the surface velocities and magnetic field patterns should ultimately be obtained from realistic simulations of the solar convection zone where the field is generated by dynamo action. Therefore, a unified treatment of the convection zone and the CMEs is needed. Numerical simulations of turbulent dynamos show that the amplification of magnetic fields can be catastrophically quenched at magnetic Reynolds numbers typical of the interior of the Sun. A strong flux of magnetic helicity leaving the dynamo domain can alleviate this quenching. In this sense, a realistic (magnetic) boundary condition is an important ingredient of a successful solar dynamo model. Using a two-layer model developed in this thesis, we combine a dynamo-active region with a magnetically inert but highly conducting upper layer which models the solar corona. In four steps we improve this setup from a forced to a convectively driven dynamo and from an isothermal to a polytropic stratified corona. The simulations show magnetic fields that emerge at the surface of the dynamo region and are ejected into the coronal part of the domain. Their morphological form allows us to associate these events with CMEs. Magnetic helicity is found to change sign in the corona to become consistent with recent helicity measurements in the solar wind. Our convection-driven dynamo model with a coronal envelope has a solar-like differential rotation with radial (spoke-like) contours of constant rotation rate, together with a solar-like meridional circulation and a near-surface shear layer. The spoke-like rotation profile is due to latitudinal entropy gradient which violates the Taylor--Proudman balance through the baroclinic term. We find mean magnetic fields that migrate equatorward in models both with and without the coronal layer. One remarkable result is that the dynamo action benefits substantially from the presence of a corona becoming stronger and more realistic. The two-layer model represents a new approach to describe the generation of coronal mass ejections in a self-consistent manner. On the other hand, it has important implications for solar dynamo models as it admits many magnetic features observed in the Sun.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 2013. 119 p.
Keyword
Magnetohydrodynamics, convection, turbulence, solar dynamo, solar rotation, solar activity, coronal mass ejections
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88896 (URN)978-91-7447-675-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-31, sal FB52, Albanova University Center, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Manuscript; Paper 6: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-05-08 Created: 2013-04-04 Last updated: 2013-04-29Bibliographically approved

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