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2014 September 05

Click for larger field-of-view movie. Also available on YouTube.

Adorable Cusp Loop

This adorable cusp, observed in late July, may be the second cutest loop ever seen in the corona. The movie on the left shows the tiny flare that produced the cusp, and the still image on the right is an average of 5 frames at maximum cuspiness. Cusps like this are of particular interest because they're thought to be telltale signs of magnetic reconnection, the explosive intersecting of magnetic field lines that produces solar flares. Reconnection occurs just above the cusp and accelerates particles sunward, down the arch, heating plasma along the loop and causing it to produce the soft X-rays seen here. Click here for a cartoon of this scenario.

Keywords: Cusp
Filters: Be_thin

(Prepared by Patrick McCauley)

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