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The coronal magnetic field over NOAA Active Region 11,429 during a X5.4 solar flare on 7 March 2012 is modeled using optimization based Non-Linear Force-Free Field extrapolation. Specifically, 3D magnetic fields were modeled for 11 timesteps using the 12-min cadence Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager photospheric vector magnetic field data, spanning a time period of 1 hour before through 1 hour after the start of the flare. Using the modeled coronal magnetic field data, seven different magnetic field parameters were calculated for 3 separate regions: areas with surface |Bz| ≥ 300 G, areas of flare brightening seen in SDO Atmospheric Imaging Assembly imagery, and areas with surface |B| ≥ 1000 G and high twist. Time series of the magnetic field parameters were analyzed to investigate the evolution of the coronal field during the solar flare event and discern pre-eruptive signatures. The data shows that areas with |B| ≥ 1000 G and |Tw| ≥ 1.5 align well with areas of initial flare brightening during the pre-flare phase and at the beginning of the eruptive phase of the flare, suggesting that measurements of the photospheric magnetic field strength and twist can be used to predict the flare location within an active region if triggered. Additionally, the evolution of seven investigated magnetic field parameters indicated a destabilizing magnetic field structure that could likely erupt.


Copyright © 2023 Garland, Yurchyshyn, Loper, Akers and Emmons.

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Funding notes: This research was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR/RTB1). VY acknowledges support from NSF AST-1614457, AGS-1954737, AST-2108235, AFOSR FA9550-19-1-0040, NASA 80NSSC17K0016, 80NSSC19K0257, and 80NSSC20K0025 grants.

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Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences