Magnetic merging in colliding flux tubes

Ellen G. Zweibel, James E. Rhoads

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We develop an analytical theory of reconnection between colliding, twisted magnetic flux tubes. Our analysis is restricted to direct collisions between parallel tubes and is based on the collision dynamics worked out by Bogdan (1984). We show that there is a range of collision velocities for which neutral point reconnection of the Parker-Sweet type can occur, and a smaller range for which reconnection leads to coalescence. Mean velocities within the solar convection zone are probably significantly greater than the upper limit for coalescence. This suggests that the majority of flux tube collisions do not result in merging, unless the frictional coupling of the tubes to the background flow is extremely strong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-414
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 1995


  • MHD
  • Sun: interior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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