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Global non-potential magnetic models of the solar corona during the March 2015 eclipse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A. R. Yeates, Tahar Amari, Ioannis Contopoulos, Xueshang Feng, D. H. Mackay, Zoran Mikić, Thomas Wiegelmann, Joseph Hutton, Christopher A. Lowder, Huw Morgan, Gordon Petrie, L. A. Rachmeler, Lisa A. Upton, Aurelien Canou, Pierre Chopin, Cooper Downs, Miloslav Druckmüller, Jon A. Linker, Daniel B. Seaton, Tibor Török

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Seven different models are applied to the same problem of simulating the Sun’s coronal magnetic field during the solar eclipse on 2015 March 20. All of the models are non-potential, allowing for free magnetic energy, but the associated electric currents are developed in significantly different ways. This is not a direct comparison of the coronal modelling techniques, in that the different models also use different photospheric boundary conditions, reflecting the range of approaches currently used in the community. Despite the significant differences, the results show broad agreement in the overall magnetic topology. Among those models with significant volume currents in much of the corona, there is general agreement that the ratio of total to potential magnetic energy should be approximately 1.4. However, there are significant differences in the electric current distributions; while static extrapolations are best able to reproduce active regions, they are unable to recover sheared magnetic fields in filament channels using currently available vector magnetogram data. By contrast, time-evolving simulations can recover the filament channel fields at the expense of not matching the observed vector magnetic fields within active regions. We suggest that, at present, the best approach may be a hybrid model using static extrapolations but with additional energization informed by simplified evolution models. This is demonstrated by one of the models.


Original languageEnglish
Article number99
Number of pages27
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number5
Early online date2 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

    Research areas

  • Magnetic fields, Sun: surface magnetism, Sun: corona

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