Featured Image: Turbulence in a Solar Current Sheet


This spectacular composition of the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA 193 Å, white-light K, and LASCO C2 images (click for the full view) captures a long, thin current sheet extending to the right of the Sun. Solar current sheets are structures with large length-to-width ratios that arise in the plasma of the solar corona; in these sheets, electric current is enhanced and magnetic field is dissipated. Led by Xin Cheng (Nanjing University, China), a team of scientists has examined the super-hot current sheet formed during an X8.2-class solar flare on 10 September, 2017. The team’s analysis suggests that magnetic reconnection in solar eruptions doesn’t happen uniformly in space and time. Instead, the current sheet may contain fragmented structures, and reconnection dissipates magnetic energy turbulently, heating the plasma and driving jets. To learn more about the outcomes of this study, check out the article below.


“Observations of Turbulent Magnetic Reconnection within a Solar Current Sheet,” X. Cheng et al 2018 ApJ 866 64. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aadd16

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