Patchy reconnection in a Y-type current sheet
© The Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS); The Seismological Society of Japan; The Volcanological Society of Japan; The Geodetic Society of Japan; The Japanese Society for Planetary Sciences; TERRAPUB. 2009
Received: 21 November 2007
Accepted: 20 June 2008
Published: 29 May 2009
We study the evolution of the magnetic field in a Y-type current sheet subject to a brief, localized magnetic reconnection event. The reconnection produces up- and down-flowing reconnected flux tubes which rapidly decelerate when they hit the Y-lines and underlying magnetic arcade loops at the ends of the current sheet. This localized reconnection outflow followed by a rapid deceleration reproduces the observed behavior of post-CME downflowing coronal voids. These simulations support the hypothesis that these observed coronal downflows are the retraction of magnetic fields reconnected in localized patches in the high corona.