Magnetohydrostatic equilibrium - I. Three-dimensional open magnetic flux tube in the stratified solar atmosphere

F. A. Gent*, V. Fedun, S. J. Mumford, Robertus Erdelyi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


A single open magnetic flux tube spanning the solar photosphere (solar radius similar or equal to R-circle dot) and the lower corona (R-circle dot + 10 Mm) is modelled in magnetohydrostatic equilibrium within a realistic stratified atmosphere subject to solar gravity. Such flux tubes are observed to remain relatively stable for up to a day or more, and it is our aim to apply the model as the background condition for numerical studies of energy transport mechanisms from the surface to the corona. We solve analytically an axially symmetric 3D structure for the model, with magnetic field strength, plasma density, pressure and temperature all consistent with observational and theoretical estimates. The self-similar construction ensures the magnetic field is divergence free. The equation of pressure balance for this particular set of flux tubes can be integrated analytically to find the pressure and density corrections required to preserve the magnetohydrostatic equilibrium. The model includes a number of free parameters, which makes the solution applicable to a variety of other physical problems and it may therefore be of more general interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-697
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • instabilities
  • magnetic fields
  • MHD
  • Sun: atmosphere
  • Sun: transition region

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