Within the plasma of an accretion disk surrounding a supermassive black hole the process of magnetic reconnection can lead to the formation of "hot spots", or plasmoids. This simulation, of an accretion flow in such an environment, shows how a thin current layer, or current sheet, can develop. For sufficiently large Lundquist numbers, these current sheets shrink and eventually become unstable to plasmoid formation. The visualization shows the out-of-plane (i.e. z-axis) magnitude of the current density after the simulation has evolved for 10 light crossing times. Large out-of-plane currents reflect the locations of plasmoids.
Methods: BHAC code