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Figure demonstrating the process (1) when two opposite polarities of initial barycenter separation distance D 0 are convergence; (2) the two opposite polarities are at their closest and a current sheet starts forming, where D min is the minimum distance, with D 0 > D min; (3) the two opposite polarities are divergence from their closest distance, D min, back to D 0, and the associated current sheet is still developing above the photosphere; (4) reconnection takes place and a flare occurs above the polarity inversion line (PIL). After the distance between the polarity barycentres returns to the initial separation, D 0, during a further evolution, this distance can now either decrease or increase (i.e., D 1 < D 0 or D 1 > D 0). D C = D 0−D min in Figure 5 (right panel).
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