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Interchange reconnection dynamics in a solar coronal pseudo-streamer

AuthorPellegrin-Frachon, T.; Masson, S.; Pariat, \; Wyper, P.~F.; DeVore, C.~R.;
KeywordsParker Data Used; magnetic fields; Sun: corona; magnetohydrodynamics (MHD); magnetic reconnection; Solar wind
AbstractContext. The generation of the slow solar wind remains an open problem in heliophysics. One of the current theories among those aimed at explaining the injection of coronal plasma in the interplanetary medium is based on interchange reconnection. It assumes that the exchange of magnetic connectivity between closed and open fields allows the injection of coronal plasma in the interplanetary medium to travel along the newly reconnected open field. However, the exact mechanism underlying this effect is still poorly understood. \ Aims: Our objective is to study this scenario in a particular magnetic structure of the solar corona: a pseudo-streamer. This topological structure lies at the interface between open and closed magnetic field and is thought to be involved in the generation of the slow solar wind. \ Methods: We performed innovative 3D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of the solar corona with a pseudo-streamer, using the Adaptively Refined MHD Solver (ARMS). By perturbing the quasi-steady ambient state with a simple photospheric, large-scale velocity flow, we were able to generate a complex dynamics of the open-and-closed boundary of the pseudo-streamer. We studied the evolution of the connectivity of numerous field lines to understand its precise dynamics. \ Results: We witnessed different scenarios of opening of the magnetic field initially closed under the pseudo-streamer: one-step interchange reconnection dynamics, along with more complex scenarios, including a coupling between pseudo-streamer and helmet streamer, as well as back-and-forth reconnections between open and closed connectivity domains. Finally, our analysis revealed large-scale motions of a newly opened magnetic field high in the corona that may be explained by slipping reconnection. \ Conclusions: By introducing a new analysis method for the magnetic connectivity evolution based on distinct closed-field domains, this study provides an understanding of the precise dynamics underway during the opening of a closed field, which enables the injection of closed-field, coronal plasma in the interplanetary medium. Further studies shall provide synthetic observations for these diverse outgoing flows, which could be measured by Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter. \\Movies associated to Figs. 9-13 are
Year of Publication2023
Number of PagesA55
Date Publishedjul