OBSERVATION OF A 3D MAGNETIC NULL POINT IN THE SOLAR CORONA

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Abstract

A saddle-like structure is clearly discerned in SOHO EIT images in the Fe wavebands in the active region NOAA 8113, from 6 to 10 December 1997, when the active region reached the solar limb. It appears after the emergence of a small patch of parasitic polarity near the footpoints of the loops forming the outer boundary of an arcade. There is a 3D null point in the center of the saddle. The height of the null is in good agreement with the relationship between the parasitic flux and the background magnetic field. In spite of the fact that a saddle-like or hyperbolic magnetic configuration is usually assumed as the necessary condition for magnetic field-line reconnection and magnetic energy release, no additional heating is observed inside the saddle structure. Moreover, interior parts of the saddle seem to be darker than the neighbouring loops of the arcade.

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