An Isaac Newton Institute Workshop

Reconnection in the Sun and Magnetosphere (Hewlett-Packard and Spitalfields Days)

Exploring the Nature for Magnetic Reconnection in Solar Transients

10th August 2004

Author: David Alexander (Rice University)

Abstract

Magnetic reconnection in the solar atmosphere is universally accepted to be the primary process allowing transient solar activity, such as flares and CMEs. Direct and unequivocal observational signatures of reconnection on the Sun are outwith current instrument capabilities. However, by combining theoretical ideas with high temporal, spatial and spectral resolution data over a number of wavelengths, some of the expected consequences of reconnection can be tested. Conversely, by adopting reconnection as a working hypothesis the wealth of data relating to the spatial and temporal evolution of flares and CMEs can serve to constrain the conditions under which the reconnection must occur. In this paper we will discuss some recent work where theoretical ideas are coupled to detailed observations to gain insight into the (assumed) reconnection process.