Suess, S.T., Ko, Y.-K., von Steiger, R., and Moore, R.L.,
"Quiescent current sheets in the solar wind and origins of slow
JGR 114, A04103 (2009).
Click on the image above for a larger .gif version.
This paper is not about flares, although it is about "not flares" in a meaningful sense perhaps. A cusp-shaped magnetic geometry often forms the basis for one of our flare cartoons (maybe as many as half of the items in this Archive, in fact). In cases like this we are asked to believe that reconnection happens rapidly and that energy is released as a consequence. In this scenario the geometry is similar but the results are different: the streamer and its heliospheric currents sheet are permanent features of the landscape. Nevertheless, as this paper discusses interestingly, there may be dynamics, and the effects discussed ought to be borne in mind for the flare or CME application as well. Note please the charming vortex on the active side of the streamer core. In the meanwhile, we still don't know why reconnection does or does not occur.
August 24, 2011
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