Spectroscopic Observations of a Current Sheet in a Solar Flare [SSA]


Current sheet is believed to be the region of energy dissipation via magnetic reconnection in solar flares. However, its properties, for example, the dynamic process, have not been fully understood. Here we report a current sheet in a solar flare (SOL2017-09-10T16:06) that was clearly observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory as well as the EUV Imaging Spectrometer on Hinode. The high-resolution imaging and spectroscopic observations show that the current sheet is mainly visible in high temperature (>10 MK) passbands, particularly in the Fe XXIV 192.03 line with a formation temperature of ~18 MK. The hot Fe XXIV 192.03 line exhibits very large nonthermal velocities up to 200 km/s in the current sheet, suggesting that turbulent motions exist there. The largest turbulent velocity occurs at the edge of the current sheet, with some offset with the strongest line intensity. At the central part of the current sheet, the turbulent velocity is negatively correlated with the line intensity. From the line emission and turbulent features we obtain a thickness in the range of 7–11 Mm for the current sheet. These results suggest that the current sheet has internal fine and dynamic structures that may help the magnetic reconnection within it proceeds efficiently.

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Y. Li, J. Xue, M. Ding, et. al.
Fri, 12 Jan 18

Comments: ApJL accepted. Comments are welcome