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Coronal heating by stochastic magnetic pumping
Sturrock, P. A.; Uchida, Y.
AA(Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.), AB(Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, Mitaka, Japan)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 246, May 15, 1981, p. 331-336. Research supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
Solar Physics
NASA/STI Keywords:
Atmospheric Heating, Magnetic Pumping, Photosphere, Solar Corona, Solar Magnetic Field, Stochastic Processes, Free Energy, Magnetic Flux, Solar Atmosphere, Solar Physics, Traveling Waves
Bibliographic Code:


Recent observational data cast serious doubt on the widely held view that the sun's corona is heated by traveling waves (acoustic or magnetohydrodynamic). It is here proposed that the energy responsible for heating the corona is derived from the free energy of the coronal magnetic field derived from motion of the 'feet' of magnetic field lines in the photosphere. Stochastic motion of the feet of magnetic field lines leads, on the average, to a linear increase of magnetic free energy with time. This rate of energy input is calculated for a simple model of a single thin flux tube. The model appears to agree well with observational data if the magnetic flux originates in small regions of high magnetic field strength as proposed by Tarbell et al. (1979). On combining this energy input with estimates of energy loss by radiation and of energy redistribution by thermal conduction, scaling laws are obtained for density and temperature in terms of length and coronal magnetic field strength.

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