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How to optimize nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic field extrapolations from SDO/HMI vector magnetograms?  [PDF]
T. Wiegelmann,J. K. Thalmann,B. Inhester,T. Tadesse,X. Sun,J. T. Hoeksema
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s11207-012-9966-z
Abstract: The SDO/HMI instruments provide photospheric vector magnetograms with a high spatial and temporal resolution. Our intention is to model the coronal magnetic field above active regions with the help of a nonlinear force-free extrapolation code. Our code is based on an optimization principle and has been tested extensively with semi-analytic and numeric equilibria and been applied before to vector magnetograms from Hinode and ground based observations. Recently we implemented a new version which takes measurement errors in photospheric vector magnetograms into account. Photospheric field measurements are often due to measurement errors and finite nonmagnetic forces inconsistent as a boundary for a force-free field in the corona. In order to deal with these uncertainties, we developed two improvements: 1.) Preprocessing of the surface measurements in order to make them compatible with a force-free field 2.) The new code keeps a balance between the force-free constraint and deviation from the photospheric field measurements. Both methods contain free parameters, which have to be optimized for use with data from SDO/HMI. Within this work we describe the corresponding analysis method and evaluate the force-free equilibria by means of how well force-freeness and solenoidal conditions are fulfilled, the angle between magnetic field and electric current and by comparing projections of magnetic field lines with coronal images from SDO/AIA. We also compute the available free magnetic energy and discuss the potential influence of control parameters.
Nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic field modelling and preprocessing of vector magnetograms in spherical geometry  [PDF]
T. Tadesse,T. Wiegelmann,B. Inhester
Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200912529
Abstract: Context: Knowledge about the coronal magnetic field is important to the understanding the structure of the solar corona. We compute the field in the higher layers of the solar atmosphere from the measured photospheric field under the assumption that the corona is force-free. Aims: Here we develop a method for nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic field medelling and preprocessing of photospheric vector magnetograms in spherical geometry using the optimization procedure. Methods: We describe a newly developed code for the extrapolation of nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic fields in spherical coordinates over a restricted area of the Sun. The program uses measured vector magnetograms on the solar photosphere as input and solves the force-free equations in the solar corona. We develop a preprocessing procedure in spherical geometry to drive the observed non-force-free data towards suitable boundary conditions for a force-free extrapolation. Results: We test the code with the help of a semi-analytic solution and assess the quality of our reconstruction qualitatively by magnetic field line plots and quantitatively with a number of comparison metrics for different boundary conditions. The reconstructed fields from the lower boundary data with the weighting function are in good agreement with the original reference fields. We added artificial noise to the boundary conditions and tested the code with and without preprocessing. The preprocessing recovered all main structures of the magnetogram and removed small-scale noise. The main test was to extrapolate from the noisy photospheric vector magnetogram with and without preprocessing. The preprocessing was found to significantly improve the agreement between the extrapolated and the exact field.
The Force-Free Electrodynamics Method for the Extrapolation of Coronal Magnetic Fields from Vector Magnetograms  [PDF]
Ioannis Contopoulos
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s11207-012-0154-y
Abstract: We present a new improved version of our force-free electrodynamics (FFE) numerical code in spherical coordinates that extrapolates the magnetic field in the inner solar corona from a photospheric vector magnetogram. The code satisfies the photospheric boundary condition and the condition divB=0 to machine accuracy. The performance of our method is evaluated with standard convergence parameters, and is found to be comparable to that of other nonlinear force-free extrapolations.
Coronal Magnetic Field Structure and Evolution for Flaring AR 11117 and its Surroundings  [PDF]
Tilaye Tadesse,T. Wiegelmann,B. Inhester,A. Pevtsov
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1007/s11207-012-9961-4
Abstract: In this study, photospheric vector magnetograms obtained with the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun survey (SOLIS), are used as boundary conditions to model the three-dimensional nonlinear force-free (NLFF) coronal magnetic fields as a sequence of nonlinear force-free equilibria in spherical geometry. We study the coronal magnetic field structure inside active regions and its temporal evolution. We compare the magnetic field configuration obtained from NLFF extrapolation before and after flaring event in active region (AR) 11117 and its surroundings observed on 27 October 2010. We compare the magnetic field topologies and the magnetic energy densities and study the connectivities between AR 11117 and its surroundings. During the investigated time period, we estimate the change in free magnetic energy from before to after the flare to be 1.74x10^{32}erg which represents about 13.5% of nonlinear force-free magnetic energy before the flare. In this study, we find that electric currents from AR 11117 to its surroundings were disrupted after the flare.
Nonlinear force-free field extrapolation in spherical geometry: improved boundary data treatment applied to a SOLIS/VSM vector magnetogram  [PDF]
Tilaye Tadesse,T. Wiegelmann,B. Inhester,A. Pevtsov
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201015491
Abstract: Routine measurements of the solar magnetic field are mainly carried out in the photosphere. Therefore, one has to infer the field strength in the higher layers of the solar atmosphere from the measured photospheric field based on the assumption that the corona is force-free. Meanwhile, those measured data are inconsistent with the above force-free assumption. Therefore, one has to apply some transformations to these data before nonlinear force-free extrapolation codes can be applied. Extrapolation codes in cartesian geometry for modelling the magnetic field in the corona do not take the curvature of the Sun's surface into account and can only be applied to relatively small areas, e.g., a single active region. Here we apply a method for nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic field modelling and preprocessing of photospheric vector magnetograms in spherical geometry using the optimization procedure.We solve the nonlinear force-free field equations by minimizing a functional in spherical coordinates over a restricted area of the Sun. We extend the functional by an additional term, which allows to incorporate measurement error and treat regions with lacking observational data. We use vector magnetograph data from the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun survey (SOLIS) to model the coronal magnetic field. We study two neighbouring magnetically connected active regions observed on May 15 2009. For vector magnetograms with variable measurement precision and randomly scattered data gaps (e.g., SOLIS/VSM) the new code yields field models which satisfy the solenoidal and force-free condition significantly better as it allows deviations between the extrapolated boundary field and observed boundary data within measurement errors. Data gaps are assigned to an infinite error. We extend this new scheme to spherical geometry and apply it for the first time to real data.
Nonlinear force-free and potential field models of active-region and global coronal fields during the Whole Heliospheric Interval  [PDF]
Gordon Petrie,Aurelien Canou,Tahar Amari
Physics , 2010, DOI: 10.1007/s11207-010-9687-0
Abstract: Between 2008/3/24 and 2008/4/2, the three active regions NOAA active regions 10987, 10988 and 10989 were observed daily by the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun (SOLIS) Vector Spectro-Magnetograph (VSM) while they traversed the solar disk. We use these measurements and the nonlinear force-free magnetic field code XTRAPOL to reconstruct the coronal magnetic field for each active region and compare model field lines with images from the Solar Terrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) and Hinode X-ray Telescope (XRT) telescopes. Synoptic maps made from continuous, round-the-clock Global Oscillations Network Group (GONG) magnetograms provide information on the global photospheric field and potential-field source-surface models based on these maps describe the global coronal field during the Whole Heliospheric Interval (WHI) and its neighboring rotations. Features of the modeled global field, such as the coronal holes and streamer belt locations, are discussed in comparison with extreme ultra-violet and coronagraph observations from STEREO. The global field is found to be far from a minimum, dipolar state. From the nonlinear models we compute physical quantities for the active regions such as the photospheric magnetic and electric current fluxes, the free magnetic energy and the relative helicity for each region each day where observations permit. The interconnectivity of the three regions is addressed in the context of the potential-field source-surface model. Using local and global quantities derived from the models, we briefly discuss the different observed activity levels of the regions.
Magnetic Connectivity between Active Regions 10987, 10988, and 10989 by Means of Nonlinear Force-Free Field Extrapolation  [PDF]
T. Tadesse,T. Wiegelmann,B. Inhester,A. Pevtsov
Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1007/s11207-011-9764-z
Abstract: Extrapolation codes for modelling the magnetic field in the corona in cartesian geometry do not take the curvature of the Sun's surface into account and can only be applied to relatively small areas, \textit{e.g.}, a single active region. We apply a method for nonlinear force-free coronal magnetic field modelling of photospheric vector magnetograms in spherical geometry which allows us to study the connectivity between multi-active regions. We use vector magnetograph data from the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun survey (SOLIS)/Vector Spectromagnetograph(VSM) to model the coronal magnetic field, where we study three neighbouring magnetically connected active regions (ARs: 10987, 10988, 10989) observed on 28, 29, and 30 March 2008, respectively. We compare the magnetic field topologies and the magnetic energy densities and study the connectivities between the active regions(ARs). We have studied the time evolution of magnetic field over the period of three days and found no major changes in topologies as there was no major eruption event. From this study we have concluded that active regions are much more connected magnetically than the electric current.
Modeling coronal magnetic field using spherical geometry: cases with several active regions  [PDF]
Tilaye Tadesse,T. Wiegelmann,K. Olson,P. J. MacNeice
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1007/s10509-013-1493-3
Abstract: The magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere structure the plasma, store free magnetic energy and produce a wide variety of active solar phenomena, like flare and coronal mass ejections(CMEs). The distribution and strength of magnetic fields are routinely measured in the solar surface(photosphere). Therefore, there is considerable interest in accurately modeling the 3D structure of the coronal magnetic field using photospheric vector magnetograms. Knowledge of the 3D structure of magnetic field lines also help us to interpret other coronal observations, e.g., EUV images of the radiating coronal plasma. Nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) models are thought to be viable tools for those task. Usually those models use Cartesian geometry. However, the spherical nature of the solar surface cannot be neglected when the field of view is large. In this work, we model the coronal magnetic field above multiple active regions using NLFFF extrapolation code using vector magnetograph data from the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun survey (SOLIS)/ Vector Spectromagnetograph (VSM) as a boundary conditions. We compare projections of the resulting magnetic field lines solutions with their respective coronal EUV-images from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (SDO/AIA) observed on October 11, 2011 and November 13, 2012. This study has found that the NLFFF model in spherical geometry reconstructs the magnetic configurations for several active regions which agrees with observations. During October 11, 2011 observation, there are substantial number of trans-equatorial loops carrying electric current.
Deriving Potential Coronal Magnetic Fields from Vector Magnetograms  [PDF]
Brian T. Welsch,George H. Fisher
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: The minimum-energy configuration for the magnetic field above the solar photosphere is curl-free (hence, by Ampere's law, also current-free), so can be represented as the gradient of a scalar potential. Since magnetic fields are divergence free, this scalar potential obeys Laplace's equation, given an appropriate boundary condition (BC). With measurements of the full magnetic vector at the photosphere, it is possible to employ either Neumann or Dirichlet BCs there. Historically, the Neumann BC was used, since available line-of-sight magnetic field measurements approximated the radial field needed for the Neumann BC. Since each BC fully determines the 3D vector magnetic field, either choice will, in general, be inconsistent with some aspect of the observed field on the boundary, due to the presence of both currents and noise in the observed field. We present a method to combine solutions from both Dirichlet and Neumann BCs to determine a hybrid potential field that minimizes the integrated square of the residual between the potential and actual fields, with the possibility of weighting by spatially uniform measurement uncertainties. This has advantages in both not overfitting the radial field used for the Neumann BC, and maximizing consistency with the observations. We show this with HMI vector magnetic field observations of AR 11158, and find that residual discrepancies between the observed and potential fields are significant, and imply nonzero horizontal photospheric currents. We also analyze potential fields for two other active regions observed with two different vector magnetographs, and find that hybrid potential fields have substantially less energy than the Neumann fields in every case --- by nearly 10^33 ergs in some cases. This has major implications for estimates of free magnetic energy in coronal field models, e.g., non-linear force-free field extrapolations.
The CGEM Lorentz Force Data from HMI Vector Magnetograms  [PDF]
Xudong Sun,for the CGEM Team
Physics , 2014,
Abstract: We describe a new data product from the CGEM (Coronal Global Evolutionary Model) collaboration that estimates the Lorentz force in active regions (ARs) based on HMI vector magnetogram patches. Following Fisher et al. (2012), we compute three components of the integrated Lorentz force over the outer solar atmosphere every 12 minutes throughout an AR's disk passage. These estimates, differenced during solar eruptive events, can provide valuable diagnostics on dynamic processes. We describe the pipeline modules, provide data retrieval examples, and document some systematic uncertainties that users should be aware of.
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