Solar flares are intense, abrupt releases of energy in the solar corona. In the impulsive phase of a flare, the intensity of hard x-ray emission reaches a sharp peak indicating the highest reconnection rate. It is often observed that an x-ray emitting plasma ejecta (plasmoid) is launched before the impulsive phase and accelerated throughout the phase. Thus, the plasmoid ejection may not be an effect of fast magnetic reconnection as conventionally assumed, but a cause of fast reconnection. Based on resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations, a solar flare model is presented, which can explain these observational characteristics of flares. In the model, merging of a newly generated magnetic island and a preexisting island results in stretching and thinning of a current sheet, in which fast magnetic reconnection is induced. Recurrence of homologous flares naturally arises in this model. Mechanisms of magnetic island formation are also discussed.
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