Solar Physics

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 87–101 | Cite as

Magnetic-field structure associated with coronal streamers

  • P. A. Sturrock
  • Sheldon M. Smith


An interesting coronal structure was observed during the solar eclipse of May 30, 1965. This comprised a series of bright arches centered approximately on a quiescent prominence. A bright ray originated near the top of one of the arches and pointed almost radially away from the photosphere. The ray could be followed for 1.5 solar radii and was deflected towards a direction parallel to the equatorial plane.

By comparing the photographs with Fraunhofer maps and magnetograms, the following interpretation of the structure was obtained. The prominence lies above the neutral line of an extended bipolar magnetic region. The bright arches coincide with flux tubes arising from small photospheric regions of enhanced magnetic-field strength. The ray represents a projection view of a thin region of enhanced plasma density in the neighborhood of a current sheet which separates two flux tubes of opposite polarity. The ray is interpreted as a coronal streamer, and it is suggested that all streamers are related to current sheets.


Plasma Density Current Sheet Opposite Polarity Equatorial Plane Flux Tube 


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. A. Sturrock
    • 1
  • Sheldon M. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Plasma Research, Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Physics Branch, Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett FieldUSA

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