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Solar Physics

The solar physics group has continued to study topics including ultraviolet (UV) explosive events on the Sun, (UV)/X-ray bright points, and evidence for magnetic reconnection in the solar atmosphere, using the impressive suites of instruments on board both the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SoHO) and the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) satellites. In particular, Gerry Doyle and colleagues have made the first detection, to their knowledge, of a small magnetic loop in the quiet Sun which shows evidence for a supersonic (130km s) siphon-like flow. The group has also revealed for the first time the existence of bi-directional jets, which are a signature of magnetic reconnection, occurring along coronal hole (CH) boundaries; and in another study show, for the first time, the association of the blinker phenomenon with brightenings in pre-existing coronal loops. Such brightening seems to be triggered by interchange reconnection, serving to provide topological connectivity between newly emerging magnetic flux and pre-existing flux, and a new model of the phenomenon has been proposed which requires further testing.


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