Shen, Chengcai, Reeves, Katharine K., Raymond, John C., Murphy, Nicholas A., Ko, Yuan-Kuen, Lin, Jun, Mikic, Zoran, and Linker, Jon A. 2013. "Non-equilibrium Ionization Modeling of the Current Sheet in a Simulated Solar Eruption." The Astrophysical Journal 773:110. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/773/2/110
The current sheet that extends from the top of flare loops and connects to an associated flux rope is a common structure in models of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). To understand the observational properties of CME current sheets, we generated predictions from a flare/CME model to be compared with observations. We use a simulation of a large-scale CME current sheet previously reported by Reeves et al. This simulation includes ohmic and coronal heating, thermal conduction, and radiative cooling in the energy equation. Using the results of this simulation, we perform time-dependent ionization calculations of the flow in a CME current sheet and construct two-dimensional spatial distributions of ionic charge states for multiple chemical elements. We use the filter responses from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the predicted intensities of emission lines to compute the count rates for each of the AIA bands. The results show differences in the emission line intensities between equilibrium and non-equilibrium ionization. The current sheet plasma is underionized at low heights and overionized at large heights. At low heights in the current sheet, the intensities of the AIA 94 Å and 131 Å channels are lower for non-equilibrium ionization than for equilibrium ionization. At large heights, these intensities are higher for non-equilibrium ionization than for equilibrium ionization inside the current sheet. The assumption of ionization equilibrium would lead to a significant underestimate of the temperature low in the current sheet and overestimate at larger heights. We also calculate the intensities of ultraviolet lines and predict emission features to be compared with events from the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, including a low-intensity region around the current sheet corresponding to this model.