XRT Picture of the Week (XPOW)

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2014 June 26

Click for QuickTime Movie. Also available on YouTube.

Current Sheet Structure on the Limb

XRT observed this minor C-flare on April 23rd from an active region on the west limb. The movie shows an elongated linear structure forming above the active region between 12:06 and 12:12 UT, and the still image accentuates this structure by summing frames to increase signal-to-noise. We are likely seeing the signature of a "current sheet," a thin surface of electric current running through the electrically-charged plasma of the corona. Such structures are generally unstable and prone to collapse, producing small episodes of manetic reconnection that heat plasma along the current sheet. XRT does not observe current directly but rather sees emission from this heated plasma. For this reason, we can't claim to have observed a current sheet directly, just a structure that's very suggestive of one.

Keywords: Flare, Current Sheet
Filters: Be_thin

(Prepared by Patrick McCauley)

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