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Magnetic Helicity Estimations in Models and Observations of the Solar Magnetic Field. IV. Application to Solar Observations

Abstract : In this ISSI-supported series of studies on magnetic helicity in the Sun, we systematically implement different magnetic helicity calculation methods on high-quality solar magnetogram observations. We apply finite-volume, discrete flux tube (in particular, connectivity-based) and flux-integration methods to data from Hinode's Solar Optical Telescope. The target is NOAA active region 10930 during a 1.5 day interval in December 2006 that included a major eruptive flare (SOL2006-12-13T02:14X3.4). Finite-volume and connectivity-based methods yield instantaneous budgets of the coronal magnetic helicity, while the flux-integration methods allow an estimate of the accumulated helicity injected through the photosphere. The objectives of our work are twofold: A cross-validation of methods, as well as an interpretation of the complex events leading to the eruption. To the first objective, we find (i) strong agreement among the finite-volume methods, (ii) a moderate agreement between the connectivity-based and finite-volume methods, (iii) an excellent agreement between the flux-integration methods, and (iv) an overall agreement between finite-volume and flux-integration based estimates regarding the predominant sign and magnitude of the helicity. To the second objective, we are confident that the photospheric helicity flux significantly contributed to the coronal helicity budget, and that a right-handed structure erupted from a predominantly left-handed corona during the X-class flare. Overall, we find that the use of different methods to estimate the (accumulated) coronal helicity may be necessary in order to draw a complete picture of an active-region corona, given the careful handling of identified data (preparation) issues, which otherwise would mislead the event analysis and interpretation.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 10:52:46 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 12:28:03 PM

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J. K. Thalmann, M. K. Georgoulis, Y. Liu, E. Pariat, G. Valori, et al.. Magnetic Helicity Estimations in Models and Observations of the Solar Magnetic Field. IV. Application to Solar Observations. The Astrophysical Journal, American Astronomical Society, 2021, 922 (1), pp.41. ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ac1f93⟩. ⟨hal-03460926⟩

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