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Astron. Astrophys. 320, L53-L56 (1997)

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Letter to the Editor

Plasma heating in the solar corona by reconnecting current sheet

A.V. Oreshina and B.V. Somov

Solar Physics Department, Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow State University, Universitetskii Prospekt 13, B-234 Moscow, 119899 Russia

Received 28 January 1997 / Accepted 25 February 1997


Flares of all scales, including nanoflares, are probably responsible for heating the solar corona. We propose a new model, describing in terms of self-similar solutions the process of plasma heating in the corona by thermal fluxes from high-temperature current sheets, where magnetic field lines are reconnected. The model demonstrates high efficiency of such a heating mechanism in the case of flares.

The differential emission measure of heated plasma is determined as a function of temperature. The spectral line intensities are calculated for ions Ca XIX, Fe XXV, and Fe XXVI. The pictures of radiative source (spatial distributions of the line intensities) are constructed. The results predicted by the model are discussed to compare with spectral and spatial observations of solar flares in soft X-rays.

Key words: Magnetohydrodynamics – Sun: corona – Sun: flares – Sun: magnetic fields

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998