Open Access

Patchy reconnection in a Y-type current sheet

Earth, Planets and Space200961:BF03352925

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.

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