SPACE AND COSMIC RAY PHYSICS SEMINAR

University of Maryland
Atlantic Building, Room 2400
4:30 PM Monday, March 26, 2012
Coffee, Tea & Snacks 4:15-4:30 PM

Dr. Sabrina Savage
GSFC
Re-interpretation of Supra-Arcade Downflows in Solar Flares

Following the eruption of a filament from a flaring active region, sunward-flowing voids are often seen above developing post-eruption arcades. First discovered using the soft X-ray telescope aboard Yohkoh, these supra-arcade downflows (SADs) are now an expected observation of extreme ultra-violet and soft X-ray coronal imagers and spectrographs. Observations made prior to the operation of the latest solar flagship mission, SDO/AIA, suggested that these plasma voids (which are seen in contrast to bright, high-temperature plasma associated with current sheets) are the cross-sections of evacuated flux tubes retracting from reconnection sites high in the corona. By applying this interpretation to void measurements, we derived values such as flux tube cross-sectional areas, magnetic fluxes, and shrinkage energies of reconnection outflows. The high temperature imaging now afforded by AIA coupled with its fast temporal cadence allows for unprecedented scrutiny of the voids. Using AIA, I will present evidence suggesting that SADs should no longer be considered cross-sections of relatively large, evacuated flux tubes after all, and I will discuss how a significant shift in the fundamental understanding of SADs affects previous parameter estimations and reconnection theory.


Sponsored by: Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, University of Maryland. For information call Victoria at (301) 405-4811 or go to the UMD Space Physics group seminar web site.

There is free parking after 4:00 PM in lot B (the big parking garage across the street from the ATL building). There are a limited number of spaces in lot Q next to the new ATL wing with free parking after 4PM even when there is a basketball game on campus.