Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract We present Hα and coronal X-ray images of the large two-ribbon flare of 25–26 June, 1992 during its long-lasting gradual decay phase. From these observations we deduce that the 3-D magnetic field configuration late in this flare was similar to that at and before the onset of such large eruptive bipolar flares: the sheared core field running under and out of the flare arcade was S-shaped, and at least one elbow of the S looped into the low corona. From previous observations of filament-eruption flares, we infer that such core-field coronal elbows, though rarely observed, are probably a common feature of the 3-D magnetic field configuration late in large two-ribbon flares. The rare circumstance that apparently resulted in a coronal elbow of the core field being visible in Hα in our flare was the occurrence of a series of subflares low in the core field under the late-phase arcade of the large flare; these subflares probably produced flaring arches in the northern coronal elbow, thereby rendering this elbow visible in Hα. The observed late-phase 3-D field configuration presented here, together with the recent sheared-core bipolar magnetic field model of Antiochos, Dahlburg, and Klimchuk (1994) and recent Yohkoh SXT observations of the coronal magnetic field configuration at and before the onset of large eruptive bipolar flares, supports the seminal 3-D model for eruptive two-ribbon flares proposed by Hirayama (1974), with three modifications: (1) the preflare magnetic field is closed over the filament-holding core field; (2) the preflare core field has the shape of an S (or backward S) with coronal elbows; (3) a lower part of the core field does not erupt and open, but remains closed throughout flare, and can have prominent coronal elbows. In this picture, the rest of the core field, the upper part, does erupt and open along with the preflare arcade envelope field in which it rides; the flare arcade is formed by reconnection that begins in the middle of the core field at the start of the eruption and progresses from reconnecting closed core field early in the flare to reconnecting ‘opened’ envelope field late in the flare.
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