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Paper: Formation of an Extraordinarily Long Filament Channel
Volume: 346, Large-scale Structures and their Role in Solar Activity
Page: 201
Authors: Anderson, M.; Martin, S.
Abstract: We analyze an example of how the Sun's surface processes appear to cause filament channels to evolve from medium-scale into global-scale phenomena. The channel was nearly linear when it reached a maximum length of 160 heliographic degrees. Because filament channels need to be of the same chirality (helicity) to merge and because most quiescent filaments in the northern and southern hemispheres have opposite chirality, this example is among the largest that the Sun could be expected to produce. We focus on filament channels because they are more fundamental than the filaments that form and erupt from them. The physical factors and processes that contributed to the formation and development of the channels from mediumscale into this global-scale filament were: (1) the presence and diffusion of the magnetic flux of active regions, (2) canceling magnetic fields, (3) differential rotation, (4) the pattern of orientation of the magnetic field bipoles of active regions per hemisphere known as Joy's law, and (5) the hemispheric chirality pattern for filament channels and their filaments. We suggest two additional factors, not included in this study, that might play significant roles in contributing to the overall form of the giant channels. These are: (7) meridional circulation and the (8) reconfiguring of solar magnetic fields during all scales of eruptive events.
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