Heating of the corona in a 3D MHD forward model approach


Observations of the solar corona show loop-like structures formed by plasma at temperatures of one million degrees and higher. Since the solar surface is much cooler than the corona, a heating mechanism must be responsible for the high temperatures. The dissipation of magnetic fields in the corona could provide such a heating mechanism. However, the process of transforming magnetic energy into thermal energy is still not yet understood in detail. To investigate this process and its impact on the heating of the corona, we employ a three-dimensional magneto-hydrodynamical model. This numerical model synthesizes the temporal evolution of the magnetic field above an Active Region. It includes the solar atmosphere from the photosphere up to the corona. The magnetic field in the corona is braided by foot point motions in the photosphere. This is done imilarly to the braiding through granulation in reality. The stressed agnetic field induces currents which are then dissipated in the corona. This dea is known as the DC model (direct current) and was proposed by Parker in 1972. The model reaches a quasi-stationary state, i.e. the energy input by hotospheric motions is counterbalanced by radiative losses in the optically thin corona. As a result, the described heating process creates and sustains a hot corona with a temperature of one million degrees and higher ...
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