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.

Key words

Solar corona flare reconnection