Probing Magnetic Reconnection With Flare Observations in the

Probing Magnetic Reconnection With Flare
Observations in the Lower Atmosphere
Jiong Qiu1
Department of Physics, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, 59717, USA
[email protected]
Energy release in solar flares is believed to be governed by magnetic reconnection taking place in
the Sun's outer atmosphere, the corona. Yet in terms of observables, the immediate and more
significant response usually occurs in the lower atmosphere. Here, energy flux along newly
reconnected field lines quickly heats up plasmas generating impulsive chromospheric emissions. The
lower atmosphere is also the only place where reliable measurements of magnetic field are currently
available. Therefore, observing flares in the lower atmosphere allows us to map reconnection events,
and estimate how much and how quickly magnetic flux is reconnected. Fast reconnection responsible
for flare energy release is unsteady and intermittent, as reflected in high-resolution observations. This
talk will discuss properties of magnetic reconnection and energy released by this process as inferred
from state-of-the-art flare observations.