Posts Tagged coronal hole

Recent Postings from coronal hole

Observations of Dissipation of Slow Magneto-acoustic Waves in Polar Coronal Hole

We focus on polar coronal hole region to find any evidence of dissipation of propagating slow magneto-acoustic waves. We obtained time-distance and frequency-distance maps along plume structure in polar coronal hole. We also obtained Fourier power maps of polar coronal hole in different frequency ranges in 171 \AA\ and 193 \AA\ passbands. We performed intensity distribution statistics in time domain at several locations in polar coronal hole. We find presence of propagating slow magneto-acoustic waves having temperature dependent propagation speeds. The wavelet analysis and Fourier power maps of polar coronal hole show that low-frequency waves are travelling longer distances (longer detection length) as compared to high-frequency waves. We found two distinct dissipation length scales of wave amplitude decay at two different height ranges (between 0-10 Mm and 10-70 Mm) along the observed plume structure. Dissipation length obtained at higher height range show some frequency dependence. Individual Fourier power spectrum at several locations show power-law distribution with frequency whereas probability density function (PDF) of intensity fluctuations in time show nearly Gaussian distributions. Propagating slow magneto-acoustic waves are getting heavily damped (small dissipation length) within the first 10 Mm distance. Beyond that waves are getting damped slowly with height. Frequency dependent dissipation length of wave propagation at higher heights may indicate possibility of wave dissipation due to thermal conduction, however, contribution from other dissipative parameters can not be ruled out. Power-law distributed power spectra were also found at lower heights in the solar corona which may provide a viable information on generation of longer period waves in the solar atmosphere.

Observations of Dissipation of Slow Magneto-acoustic Waves in a Polar Coronal Hole [Replacement]

We focus on a polar coronal hole region to find any evidence of dissipation of propagating slow magneto-acoustic waves. We obtained time-distance and frequency-distance maps along the plume structure in a polar coronal hole. We also obtained Fourier power maps of the polar coronal hole in different frequency ranges in 171~\AA\ and 193~\AA\ passbands. We performed intensity distribution statistics in time domain at several locations in the polar coronal hole. We find the presence of propagating slow magneto-acoustic waves having temperature dependent propagation speeds. The wavelet analysis and Fourier power maps of the polar coronal hole show that low-frequency waves are travelling longer distances (longer detection length) as compared to high-frequency waves. We found two distinct dissipation length scales of wave amplitude decay at two different height ranges (between 0–10 Mm and 10–70 Mm) along the observed plume structure. The dissipation lengths obtained at higher height range show some frequency dependence. Individual Fourier power spectrum at several locations show a power-law distribution with frequency whereas probability density function (PDF) of intensity fluctuations in time show nearly Gaussian distributions. Propagating slow magneto-acoustic waves are getting heavily damped (small dissipation lengths) within the first 10~Mm distance. Beyond that waves are getting damped slowly with height. Frequency dependent dissipation lengths of wave propagation at higher heights may indicate the possibility of wave dissipation due to thermal conduction, however, the contribution from other dissipative parameters cannot be ruled out. Power-law distributed power spectra were also found at lower heights in the solar corona, which may provide viable information on the generation of longer period waves in the solar atmosphere.

Disappearance of a coronal hole induced by a filament activation

We present a rare observation of direct magnetic interaction between an activating filament and a coronal hole (CH). The filament was a quiescent one located at the northwest of the CH. It underwent a nonradial activation, during which filament material constantly fell and intruded into the CH. As a result, the CH was clearly destroyed by the intrusion. Brightenings appeared at the boundaries and in the interior of the CH, meanwhile, its west boundaries began to retreat and the area gradually shrank. It is noted that the CH went on shrinking after the end of the intrusion and finally disappeared entirely. Following the filament activation, three coronal dimmings (D1-D3) were formed, among which D1 and D2 persisted throughout the complete disappearance of the CH. The derived coronal magnetic configuration shows that the filament was located below an extended loop system which obviously linked D1 to D2. By comparison with this result of extrapolation, our observations imply that the interaction between the filament and the CH involved direct intrusion of the filament material to the CH and the disappearance of the CH might be due to interchange reconnection between the expanding loop system and the CH’s open field.

A Coronal Hole Jet Observed with Hinode and the Solar Dynamics Observatory [Replacement]

A small blowout jet was observed at the boundary of the south polar coronal hole on 2011 February 8 at around 21:00 UT. Images from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) revealed an expanding loop rising from one footpoint of a compact, bipolar bright point. Magnetograms from the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) on board SDO showed that the jet was triggered by the cancelation of a parasitic positive polarity feature near the negative pole of the bright point. The jet emission was present for 25 mins and it extended 30 Mm from the bright point. Spectra from the EUV Imaging Spectrometer on board Hinode yielded a temperature and density of 1.6 MK and 0.9-1.7 x 10^8 cm^-3 for the ejected plasma. Line-of-sight velocities reached up to 250 km/s and were found to increase with height, suggesting plasma acceleration within the body of the jet. Evidence was found for twisting motions within the jet based on variations of the LOS velocities across the jet width. The derived angular speed was in the range 9-12 x 10^-3 rad s^-1, consistent with previous measurements from jets. The density of the bright point was 7.6 x 10^8 cm^-3, and the peak of the bright point’s emission measure occurred at 1.3 MK, with no plasma above 3 MK.

A Coronal Hole Jet Observed with Hinode and the Solar Dynamics Observatory

A small blowout jet was observed at the boundary of the south coronal hole on 2011 February 8 at around 21:00 UT. Images from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) revealed an expanding loop rising from one footpoint of a compact, bipolar bright point. Magnetograms from the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) on board SDO showed that the jet was triggered by the cancelation of a parasitic positive polarity feature near the negative pole of the bright point. The jet emission was present for 25 mins and it extended 30 Mm from the bright point. Spectra from the EUV Imaging Spectrometer on board Hinode yielded a temperature and density of 1.6 MK and 0.9-1.7 x 10^8 cm^-3 for the ejected plasma. Line-of-sight velocities reached up to 250 km/s. The density of the bright point was 7.6 x 10^8 cm^-3, and the peak of the bright point’s emission measure occurred at 1.3 MK, with no plasma above 3 MK.

Characteristics of polar coronal hole jets

High spatial- and temporal-resolution images of coronal hole regions show a dynamical environment where mass flows and jets are frequently observed. These jets are believed to be important for the coronal heating and the acceleration of the fast solar wind. We studied the dynamics of two jets seen in a polar coronal hole with a combination of imaging from EIS and XRT onboard Hinode. We observed drift motions related to the evolution and formation of these small-scale jets, which we tried to model as well. We found observational evidence that supports the idea that polar jets are very likely produced by multiple small-scale reconnections occurring at different times in different locations. These eject plasma blobs that flow up and down with a motion very similar to a simple ballistic motion. The associated drift speed of the first jet is estimated to be $\approx$ 27 km s$^{-1}$. The average outward speed of the first jet is $\approx 171$ km s$^{-1}$, well below the escape speed, hence if simple ballistic motion is considered, the plasma will not escape the Sun. The second jet was observed in the south polar coronal hole with three XRT filters, namely, C$_{-}$poly, Al$_{-}$poly, and Al$_{-}$mesh filters. We observed that the second jet drifted at all altitudes along the jet with the same drift speed of $\simeq$ 7 km s$^{-1}$. The enhancement in the light curves of low-temperature EIS lines in the later phase of the jet lifetime and the shape of the jet’s stack plots suggests that the jet material is falls back, and most likely cools down. To support this conclusion, the observed drifts were interpreted within a scenario where reconnection progressively shifts along a magnetic structure, leading to the sequential appearance of jets of about the same size and physical characteristics. On this basis, we also propose a simple qualitative model that mimics the observations.

SDO and Hinode observations of a blowout jet in a coronal hole

A blowout jet occurred within the south coronal hole on 2011 February 9 at 09:00 UT and was observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory, and the EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) and X-Ray Telescope (XRT) on board the Hinode satellite during coronal hole monitoring performed as part of Hinode Operations Program No. 177. Images from AIA show expanding, hot and cold loops from a small bright point with plasma ejected in a curtain up to 30 Mm wide. The initial intensity front of the jet has a projected velocity of 200 km/s, and line-of-sight velocities measured by EIS are between 100 and 250 km/s. The jet plasma has a density of 2.7 x 10^8 cm^-3, and a temperature of 1.4 MK. During the event a number of bright kernels are seen at the base of the bright point. The kernels have sizes of 1000 km, are variable in brightness, and have lifetimes of 1-15 mins. A XRT filter ratio yields temperatures of 1.5-3.0 MK for the kernels. The bright point existed for at least 10 hours, but disappeared within 2 hours after the jet, which lasted for 30 mins. HMI data reveal converging photospheric flows at the location of the bright point, and the mixed polarity magnetic flux cancels over a period of four hours either side of the jet.

Solar Dynamics Observatory and Hinode observations of a blowout jet in a coronal hole [Replacement]

A blowout jet occurred within the south coronal hole on 9 February 2011 at 09:00 UT and was observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory, and the EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) and X-Ray Telescope (XRT) onboard the Hinode spacecraft during coronal hole monitoring performed as part of Hinode Operations Program No. 177. Images from AIA show expanding hot and cold loops from a small bright point with plasma ejected in a curtain up to 30 Mm wide. The initial intensity front of the jet had a projected velocity of 200 km/s and line-of-sight (LOS) velocities measured by EIS are between 100 and 250 km/s. The LOS velocities increased along the jet, implying an acceleration mechanism operating within the body of the jet. The jet plasma had a density of 2.7 x 10^8 cm^-3, and a temperature of 1.4 MK. During the event a number of bright kernels were seen at the base of the bright point. The kernels have sizes of about 1000 km, are variable in brightness, and have lifetimes of 1-15 minutes. An XRT filter ratio yields temperatures of 1.5-3.0 MK for the kernels. The bright point existed for at least ten hours, but disappeared within two hours after the jet, which lasted for 30 minutes. HMI data reveal converging photospheric flows at the location of the bright point, and the mixed polarity magnetic flux canceled over a period of four hours on either side of the jet.

Low-latitude coronal holes, decaying active regions and global coronal magnetic structure

We study the relationship between decaying active region magnetic fields, coronal holes and the global coronal magnetic structure using Global Oscillations Network Group (GONG) synoptic magnetograms, Solar Terrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) extreme ultra-violet (EUV) synoptic maps and coronal potential-field source-surface (PFSS) models. We analyze 14 decaying regions and associated coronal holes occurring between early 2007 and late 2010, four from cycle 23 and 10 from cycle 24. We investigate the relationship between asymmetries in active regions’ positive and negative magnetic intensities, asymmetric magnetic decay rates, flux imbalances, global field structure and coronal hole formation. Whereas new emerging active regions caused changes in the large-scale coronal field, the coronal fields of the 14 decaying active regions only opened under the condition that the global coronal structure remained almost unchanged. This was because the dominant slowly-varying, low-order multipoles prevented opposing-polarity fields from opening and the remnant active-region flux preserved the regions’ low-order multipole moments long after the regions had decayed. Thus the polarity of each coronal hole necessarily matched the polar field on the side of the streamer belt where the corresponding active region decayed. For magnetically isolated active regions initially located within the streamer belt, the more intense polarity generally survived to form the hole. For non-isolated regions, flux imbalance and topological asymmetry prompted the opposite to occur in some cases.

Characteristic Length of Energy-Containing Structures at the Base of a Coronal Hole

An essential parameter for models of coronal heating and fast solar wind acceleration that rely on the dissipation of MHD turbulence is the characteristic energy-containing length $\lambda_{\bot}$ of the squared velocity and magnetic field fluctuations ($u^2$ and $b^2$) transverse to the mean magnetic field inside a coronal hole (CH) at the base of the corona. The characteristic length scale defines directly the heating rate. We use a time series analysis of solar granulation and magnetic field measurements inside two CHs obtained with the New Solar Telescope (NST) at Big Bear Solar Observatory. A data set for transverse magnetic fields obtained with the Solar Optical Telescope/Spectro-Polarimeter (SOT/SP) aboard {\it Hinode} spacecraft was utilized to analyze the squared transverse magnetic field fluctuations $b_t^2$. Local correlation tracking (LCT) was applied to derive the squared transverse velocity fluctuations $u^2$. We find that for $u^2$-structures, Batchelor integral scale $\lambda$ varies in a range of 1800 – 2100 km, whereas the correlation length $\varsigma$ and the $e$-folding length $L$ vary between 660 and 1460 km. Structures for $b_t^2$ yield $\lambda \approx 1600$ km, $\varsigma \approx 640$ km, and $L \approx 620$ km. An averaged (over $\lambda, \varsigma$, and $L$) value of the characteristic length of $u^2$-fluctuations is 1260$\pm$500 km, and that of $b_t^2$ is 950$\pm$560 km. The characteristic length scale in the photosphere is approximately 1.5-50 times smaller than that adopted in previous models (3-30$\times10^3$ km). Our results provide a critical input parameter for current models of coronal heating and should yield an improved understanding of fast solar wind acceleration.

Plasma Jets and Eruptions in Solar Coronal Holes: a 3D flux emergence experiment

A three-dimensional numerical experiment of the launching of a hot and fast coronal jet followed by several violent eruptions is analyzed in detail. These events are initiated through the emergence of a magnetic flux rope from the solar interior into a coronal hole. We explore the evolution of the emerging magnetically-dominated plasma dome surmounted by a current sheet and the ensuing pattern of reconnection. A hot and fast coronal jet with inverted-Y shape is produced that shows properties comparable to those frequently observed with EUV and X-Ray detectors. We analyze its 3D shape, its inhomogeneous internal structure, and its rise and decay phases, lasting for some 15-20 min each. Particular attention is devoted to the field-line connectivities and the reconnection pattern. We also study the cool and high-density volume that appears encircling the emerged dome. The decay of the jet is followed by a violent phase with a total of five eruptions. The first of them seems to follow the general pattern of tether-cutting reconnection in a sheared arcade, although modified by the field topology created by the preceding reconnection evolution. The two following eruptions take place near and above the strong field-concentrations at the surface. They show a twisted, \Omega-loop like rope expanding in height, with twist being turned into writhe, thus hinting at a kink instability (perhaps combined with a torus-instability) as the cause of the eruption. The succession of a main jet ejection and a number of violent eruptions that resemble mini-CME’s and their physical properties suggest that this experiment may provide a model for the blowout jets recently proposed in the literature.

3He-rich SEP Events Observed by STEREO-A

Using the SIT (Suprathermal Ion Telescope) instrument on STEREO-A we have examined the abundance of the rare isotope 3He during the rising activity phase of solar cycle 24 between January 2010 and December 2011. We have identified six solar energetic particle (SEP) events with enormous abundance enhancements of 3He (3He/4He >1). The events were short lasting, typically ~0.5-1 day and most of them occurred in association with high-speed solar wind streams and corotating interaction regions. With one exception the events were not associated with ~100 keV solar electron intensity increases. The events showed also enhanced NeS/O and Fe/O ratios. The solar images indicate that the events were generally associated with the active regions located near a coronal hole.

Coronal Hole Influence on the Observed Structure of Interplanetary CMEs

We report on the coronal hole (CH) influence on the 54 magnetic cloud (MC) and non-MC associated coronal mass ejections (CMEs) selected for studies during the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshops (CDAWs) focusing on the question if all CMEs are flux ropes. All selected CMEs originated from source regions located between longitudes 15E-15W. Xie, Gopalswamy, and St, Cyr (2013, Solar Phys., doi:10.1007/s11207-012-0209-0) found that these MC and non-MC associated CMEs are on average deflected towards and away from the Sun-Earth line respectively. We used a CH influence parameter (CHIP) that depends on the CH area, average magnetic field strength, and distance from the CME source region to describe the influence of all on-disk CHs on the erupting CME. We found that for CHIP values larger than 2.6 G the MC and non-MC events separate into two distinct groups where MCs (non-MCs) are deflected towards (away) from the disk center. Division into two groups was also observed when the distance to the nearest CH was less than 3.2×10^5 km. At CHIP values less than 2.6 G or at distances of the nearest CH larger than 3.2×10^5 km the deflection distributions of the MC and non-MCs started to overlap, indicating diminishing CH influence. These results give support to the idea that all CMEs are flux ropes, but those observed to be non-MCs at 1 AU could be deflected away from the Sun-Earth line by nearby CHs, making their flux rope structure unobservable at 1 AU.

Dynamics of the Transition corona [Replacement]

Magnetic reconnection between open and closed magnetic field in the corona is believed to play a crucial role in the corona/heliosphere coupling. At large scale, the exchange of open/closed connectivity is expected to occur in pseudo-streamer structures. However, there is neither clear observational evidence of how such coupling occurs in pseudo-streamers, nor evidence for how the magnetic reconnection evolves. Using a newly-developed technique, we enhance the off-limb magnetic fine structures observed with AIA and identify a pseudo-streamer-like feature located close to the northern coronal hole. After extrapolating the magnetic field with the PFSS model, we obtain a pseudo-streamer magnetic topology, null-point related topology bounded by open field. We compare the magnetic configuration with the UV observations and identify the magnetic structures expected to be involved in the event. Using an 3D MHD simulation of interchange reconnection, we showed that the evolution of the UV structures follows the magnetic field dynamics and the UV emitting structures have a pattern very similar to the plasma emission derived from the simulation. Our results highlight that the exchange between open and closed in the pseudo-streamer topology related to an observed event occurs at least partially at the null-point, similarly to the interchange reconnection in a single null-point topology. However, our results also indicate that the interchange reconnection in pseudo-streamers is a gradual physical process which opposes to the impulsive reconnection of the solar-jet model.

On the Temporal Evolution of the Disc Counterpart of Type II Spicules in Quiet Sun

The type II spicule has been speculated to provide enough hot plasma to play an important role in the mass loading and heating of the corona. We analyse the disc counterpart to type II spicules, RBEs, in three high quality datasets from CRISP at the SST. In a quiet Sun region at disc centre we find lower Doppler velocities, 15-40km/s, and Doppler widths, 2-15km/s, of RBEs than in earlier coronal hole studies, 30-50km/s and 7-23km/s, respectively. We examine the spatial dependence of Doppler velocities and widths along RBE axes and conclude that there is no clear trend over the FOV or in individual RBEs in quiet Sun at disc centre. These differences with previous coronal hole studies are attributed to the more varying magnetic field configuration in quiet Sun conditions. Using an extremely high cadence dataset allowed us to improve greatly on the determination of lifetimes of RBEs, found to range from 5 to 60s with an average of 30s, as well as the transverse motions in RBEs, with transverse velocities up to 55km/s and averaging 12km/s. Furthermore, our measurements of the recurrence rates of RBEs provide important new constraints on coronal heating by spicules. We also see many examples of a sinusoidal wave pattern in the transverse motion with periods averaging 54s and amplitudes from 21.5 to 129km, agreeing well with previous studies of wave motion in limb spicules. We interpret the appearance of RBEs over their full length within a few seconds as the result of a combination of three kinds of motions as reported earlier for spicules. Finally, we look at the temporal connection between Ha and Ca 8542 RBEs and find Ca 8542 in addition to being located closer to the footpoint also appear before the Ha RBE. This connection supports the idea that heating occurs in spicules and contribute more weight to the prominence of spicules as a source for heating and mass loading of the corona.

On the Temporal Evolution of the Disc Counterpart of Type II Spicules in Quiet Sun [Replacement]

The type II spicule has been speculated to provide enough hot plasma to play an important role in the mass loading and heating of the corona. We analyse the disc counterpart to type II spicules, RBEs, in three high quality datasets from CRISP at the SST. In a quiet Sun region at disc centre we find lower Doppler velocities, 15-40km/s, and Doppler widths, 2-15km/s, of RBEs than in earlier coronal hole studies, 30-50km/s and 7-23km/s, respectively. We examine the spatial dependence of Doppler velocities and widths along RBE axes and conclude that there is no clear trend over the FOV or in individual RBEs in quiet Sun at disc centre. These differences with previous coronal hole studies are attributed to the more varying magnetic field configuration in quiet Sun conditions. Using an extremely high cadence dataset allowed us to improve greatly on the determination of lifetimes of RBEs, found to range from 5 to 60s with an average of 30s, as well as the transverse motions in RBEs, with transverse velocities up to 55km/s and averaging 12km/s. Furthermore, our measurements of the recurrence rates of RBEs provide important new constraints on coronal heating by spicules. We also see many examples of a sinusoidal wave pattern in the transverse motion with periods averaging 54s and amplitudes from 21.5 to 129km, agreeing well with previous studies of wave motion in limb spicules. We interpret the appearance of RBEs over their full length within a few seconds as the result of a combination of three kinds of motions as reported earlier for spicules. Finally, we look at the temporal connection between Ha and Ca 8542 RBEs and find Ca 8542 in addition to being located closer to the footpoint also appear before the Ha RBE. This connection supports the idea that heating occurs in spicules and contribute more weight to the prominence of spicules as a source for heating and mass loading of the corona.

Rotation rates of the coronal holes and their probable anchoring depths

For the years 2001-2008, we use full-disk, SOHO/EIT 195 $\AA$ calibrated images to determine latitudinal and day to day variations of the rotation rates of coronal holes. We estimate the weighted average of heliographic coordinates such as latitude and longitude from the central meridian on the observed solar disk. For different latitude zones between $40^{o}$ north – $40^{o}$ south, we compute rotation rates, and find that, irrespective of their area, number of days observed on the solar disk and latitudes, coronal holes rotate rigidly. Combined for all the latitude zones, we also find that coronal holes rotate rigidly during their evolution history. In addition, for all latitude zones, coronal holes follow a rigid body rotation law during their first appearance. Interestingly, average first rotation rate ($\sim 438 nHz$) of the coronal holes, computed from their first appearance on the solar disk, match with rotation rate of the solar interior only below the tachocline.

Near-Sun Flux Rope Structure of CMEs

We have used the Krall flux-rope model (Krall and St. Cyr, Astrophys. J. 2006, 657, 1740) (KFR) to fit 23 magnetic cloud (MC)-CMEs and 30 non-cloud ejecta (EJ)-CMEs in the Living With a Star (LWS) Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop (CDAW) 2011 list. The KFR-fit results shows that the CMEs associated with MCs (EJs) have been deflected closer to (away from) the solar disk center (DC), likely by both the intrinsic magnetic structures inside an active region (AR) and ambient magnetic structures (e.g. nearby ARs, coronal holes, and streamers, etc.). The mean propagation latitudes and longitudes of the EJ-CMEs (18, 11) were larger than those of the MC-CMEs (11, 6) by 7 and 5, respectively. Furthermore, the KFR-fit widths showed that the MC- CMEs are wider than the EJ-CMEs. The mean fitting face-on width and edge-on width of the MC-CMEs (EJ-CMEs) were 87 (85) and 70 (63), respectively. The deflection away from DC and narrower angular widths of the EJ-CMEs have caused the observing spacecraft to pass over only their flanks and miss the central flux-rope structures. The results of this work support the idea that all CMEs have a flux-rope structure.

An anisotropic-Alfvenic-turbulence-based solar wind model with proton temperature anisotropy

How the solar wind is accelerated to its supersonic speed is intimately related to how it is heated. Mechanisms based on ion-cyclotron resonance have been successful in explaining a large number of observations, those concerning the significant ion temperature anisotropy above coronal holes in particular. However, they suffer from the inconsistency with turbulence theory which says that the turbulent cascade in a low-beta medium like the solar corona should proceed in the perpendicular rather than the parallel direction, meaning that there is little energy in the ion gyro-frequency range for ions to absorb via ion-cyclotron resonance. Recently a mechanism based on the interaction between the solar wind particles and the anisotropic turbulence has been proposed, where the perpendicular proton energy addition is via the stochastic heating (Chandran et al. 2011). We extend this promising mechanism by properly accounting for the effect of proton temperature anisotropy on the propagation of Alfven waves, for the radiative losses of electron energy, and for the field line curvature that naturally accompanies solar winds in the corona. While this mechanism was shown in previous studies to apply to the polar fast solar wind, we demonstrate here for the first time that it applies also to the slow wind flowing along field lines bordering streamer helmets.

The Sun's Global Photospheric and Coronal Magnetic Fields: Observations and Models

In this review, our present day understanding of the Sun’s global photospheric and coronal magnetic fields is discussed from both observational and theoretical viewpoints. Firstly, the large-scale properties of photospheric magnetic fields are described, along with recent advances in photospheric magnetic flux transport models. Following this, the wide variety of theoretical models used to simulate global coronal magnetic fields are described. From this, the combined application of both magnetic flux transport simulations and coronal modeling techniques to describe the phenomena of coronal holes, the Sun’s open magnetic flux and the hemispheric pattern of solar filaments is discussed. Finally, recent advances in non-eruptive global MHD models are described. While the review focuses mainly on solar magnetic fields, recent advances in measuring and modeling stellar magnetic fields are described where appropriate. In the final section key areas of future research are identified.

Origins of Rolling, Twisting and Non-Radial Propagation of Eruptive Solar Events

We demonstrate that major asymmetries in erupting filaments and CMEs, namely major twists and non-radial motions are typically related to the larger-scale ambient environment around eruptive events. Our analysis of prominence eruptions observed by the STEREO, SDO and SOHO spacecraft shows that prominence spines retain, during the initial phases, the thin ribbon-like topology they had prior to the eruption. This topology allows bending, rolling, and twisting during the early phase of the eruption, but not before. The combined ascent and initial bending of the filament ribbon is non-radial in the same general direction as for the enveloping CME. However, the non-radial motion of the filament is greater than that of the CME. In considering the global magnetic environment around CMEs, as approximated by the Potential Field Source Surface (PFSS) model, we find that the non-radial propagation of both erupting filaments and associated CMEs is correlated with the presence of nearby coronal holes, which deflect the erupting plasma and embedded fields. In addition, CME and filament motions respectively are guided towards weaker field regions, namely null points existing at different heights in the overlying configuration. Due to the presence of the coronal hole, the large-scale forces acting on the CME may be asymmetric. We find that the CME propagates usually non-radially in the direction of least resistance, which is always away from the coronal hole. We demonstrate these results using both low and high latitude examples.

Origins of Rolling, Twisting and Non-Radial Propagation of Eruptive Solar Events [Replacement]

We demonstrate that major asymmetries in erupting filaments and CMEs, namely major twists and non-radial motions are typically related to the larger-scale ambient environment around eruptive events. Our analysis of prominence eruptions observed by the STEREO, SDO and SOHO spacecraft shows that prominence spines retain, during the initial phases, the thin ribbon-like topology they had prior to the eruption. This topology allows bending, rolling, and twisting during the early phase of the eruption, but not before. The combined ascent and initial bending of the filament ribbon is non-radial in the same general direction as for the enveloping CME. However, the non-radial motion of the filament is greater than that of the CME. In considering the global magnetic environment around CMEs, as approximated by the Potential Field Source Surface (PFSS) model, we find that the non-radial propagation of both erupting filaments and associated CMEs is correlated with the presence of nearby coronal holes, which deflect the erupting plasma and embedded fields. In addition, CME and filament motions respectively are guided towards weaker field regions, namely null points existing at different heights in the overlying configuration. Due to the presence of the coronal hole, the large-scale forces acting on the CME may be asymmetric. We find that the CME propagates usually non-radially in the direction of least resistance, which is always away from the coronal hole. We demonstrate these results using both low and high latitude examples.

The Evolution and Space Weather Effects of Solar Coronal Holes

In recent years the role of space weather forecasting has grown tremendously as our society increasingly relies on satellite dependent technologies. The forecasting of flare and CME related transient geomagnetic storms has become a primary initiative, however, minor magnetic storms caused by coronal holes (CHs) have also proven to be of high importance due to their long lasting and recurrent geomagnetic effects. In order to study CH properties, the author developed an automated CH detection method (CHARM), which uses local intensity histograms to identify CH boundaries. An additional algorithm package (CHEVOL) was developed to study individual CHs by tracking their boundary evolution. It is widely accepted that the short-term changes in CH boundaries are due to the interchange reconnection between the CH open field lines and small loops. In order to test the interchange reconnection model, the magnetic reconnection rate and the diffusion coefficient at CH boundaries were determined using observed CH boundary displacement velocities. The results were found to be in agreement with those determined by the theory. The MIST algorithm was developed by the author to build on the CHARM package, providing a fast and consistent way to link CHs to high-speed solar wind periods detected at Earth. This allowed us to carry out a long-term analysis (2000-2009) to study the relationship between CHs, the corresponding HSSW properties, and geomagnetic indices. The relationship between CH related high-speed solar wind streams and the electron flux enhancements in the Van Allen radiation belt was confirmed. The research presented in this thesis includes the small-scale analysis of individual CHs on time scales of days, which is complemented with large scale analysis of CH groups on time scales of years. This allowed us to further our understanding of CH evolution as a whole.

Coronal hole boundaries at small scales: IV. SOT view Magnetic field properties of small-scale transient brightenings in coronal holes

We study the magnetic properties of small-scale transients in coronal hole. We found all brightening events are associated with bipolar regions and caused by magnetic flux emergence followed by cancellation with the pre-existing and newly emerging magnetic flux. In the coronal hole, 19 of 22 events have a single stable polarity which does not change its position in time. In eleven cases this is the dominant polarity. The dominant flux of the coronal hole form the largest concentration of magnetic flux in terms of size while the opposite polarity is distributed in small concentrations. In the coronal hole the number of magnetic elements of the dominant polarity is four times higher than the non-dominant one. The supergranulation configuration appears to preserve its general shape during approximately nine hours of observations although the large concentrations in the network did evolve and were slightly displaced, and their strength either increased or decreased. The emission fluctuations seen in the X-ray bright points are associated with reoccurring magnetic cancellation in the footpoints. Unique observations of an X-ray jet reveal similar magnetic behaviour in the footpoints, i.e. cancellation of the opposite polarity magnetic flux. We found that the magnetic flux cancellation rate during the jet is much higher than in bright points. Not all magnetic cancellations result in an X-ray enhancement, suggesting that there is a threshold of the amount of magnetic flux involved in a cancellation above which brightening would occur at X-ray temperatures. Our study demonstrates that the magnetic flux in coronal holes is continuously recycled through magnetic reconnection which is responsible for the formation of numerous small-scale transient events. The open magnetic flux forming the coronal-hole phenomenon is largely involved in these transient features.

Slow Magneto-acoustic Waves Observed above Quiet-Sun Region in a Dark Cavity

Waves play a crucial role in diagnosing the plasma properties of various structures in the solar corona and coronal heating. Slow magneto-acoustic (MA) waves are one of the important magnetohydrodynamic waves. In past decades, numerous slow MA waves were detected above the active regions and coronal holes, but rarely found elsewhere. Here, we investigate a `tornado’-like structure consisting of quasi-periodic streaks within a dark cavity at about 40–110 Mm above the quiet-Sun region on 2011 September 25. Our analysis reveals that these streaks are actually slow MA wave trains. The properties of these wave trains, including the phase speed, compression ratio, kinetic energy density, etc., are similar to those of the reported slow MA waves, except that the period of these waves is about 50 s, much shorter than the typical reported values (3–5 minutes).

Interchange reconnection in a turbulent Corona

Magnetic reconnection at the interface between coronal holes and loops, so-called interchange reconnection, can release the hotter, denser plasma from magnetically confined regions into the heliosphere, contributing to the formation of the highly variable slow solar wind. The interchange process is often thought to develop at the apex of streamers or pseudo-streamers, near Y and X-type neutral points, but slow streams with loop composition have been recently observed along fanlike open field lines adjacent to closed regions, far from the apex. However, coronal heating models, with magnetic field lines shuffled by convective motions, show that reconnection can occur continuously in unipolar magnetic field regions with no neutral points: photospheric motions induce a magnetohydrodynamic turbulent cascade in the coronal field that creates the necessary small scales, where a sheared magnetic field component orthogonal to the strong axial field is created locally and can reconnect. We propose that a similar mechanism operates near and around boundaries between open and closed regions inducing a continual stochastic rearrangement of connectivity. We examine a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model of a simplified interface region between open and closed corona threaded by a strong unipolar magnetic field. This boundary is not stationary, becomes fractal, and field lines change connectivity continuously, becoming alternatively open and closed. This model suggests that slow wind may originate everywhere along loop-coronal hole boundary regions, and can account naturally and simply for outflows at and adjacent to such boundaries and for the observed diffusion of slow wind around the heliospheric current sheet.

Hough Transform to study the magnetic confinement of Solar Spicules

One of the important parameters of the ubiquitous spicules rising intermittently above the surface of the Sun is the variation of spicule spline orientation with respect to the solar coordinates, presumably reflecting the focusing of ejection by the coronal magnetic field. Here we first use a method of tracing limb spicules using a combination of second derivative operators in multiple directions around each pixel to enhance the visibility of fine linear part of spicules. Furthermore, the Hough transform is used for a statistical analysis of spicule orientations in different regions around the solar limb, from the pole to the equator. Our results show a large difference of spicule apparent tilt angles in regions of: (i) the solar poles, (ii) the equator, (iii) the active regions and (iv) the coronal holes. Spicules are visible in a radial direction in polar regions with a tilt angle <20 degree. The tilt angle is even reduced inside a coronal hole (open magnetic field lines) to 10 degrees and at the lower latitude the tilt angle reaches values in excess of 50 degree. Usually, around an active region they show a wide range of apparent angle variations from -60 to +60 degrees, which is in close resemblance to the rosettes made of dark mottles and fibrils seen in projection with the solar disk.

Hough Transform to study the magnetic confinement of Solar Spicules [Replacement]

One of the important parameters of the ubiquitous spicules rising intermittently above the surface of the Sun is the variation of spicule spline orientation with respect to the solar coordinates, presumably reflecting the focusing of ejection by the coronal magnetic field. Here we first use a method of tracing limb spicules using a combination of second derivative operators in multiple directions around each pixel to enhance the visibility of fine linear part of spicules. Furthermore, the Hough transform is used for a statistical analysis of spicule orientations in different regions around the solar limb, from the pole to the equator. Our results show a large difference of spicule apparent tilt angles in regions of: (i) the solar poles, (ii) the equator, (iii) the active regions and (iv) the coronal holes. Spicules are visible in a radial direction in polar regions with a tilt angle <20 degree. The tilt angle is even reduced inside a coronal hole (open magnetic field lines) to 10 degrees and at the lower latitude the tilt angle reaches values in excess of 50 degree. Usually, around an active region they show a wide range of apparent angle variations from -60 to +60 degrees, which is in close resemblance to the rosettes made of dark mottles and fibrils seen in projection with the solar disk.

Hough Transform to study the magnetic confinement of Solar Spicules [Replacement]

One of the important parameters of the ubiquitous spicules rising intermittently above the surface of the Sun is the variation of spicule spline orientation with respect to the solar coordinates, presumably reflecting the focusing of ejection by the coronal magnetic field. Here we first use a method of tracing limb spicules using a combination of second derivative operators in multiple directions around each pixel to enhance the visibility of fine linear part of spicules. Furthermore, the Hough transform is used for a statistical analysis of spicule orientations in different regions around the solar limb, from the pole to the equator. Our results show a large difference of spicule apparent tilt angles in regions of: (i) the solar poles, (ii) the equator, (iii) the active regions and (iv) the coronal holes. Spicules are visible in a radial direction in polar regions with a tilt angle <20 degree. The tilt angle is even reduced inside a coronal hole (open magnetic field lines) to 10 degrees and at the lower latitude the tilt angle reaches values in excess of 50 degree. Usually, around an active region they show a wide range of apparent angle variations from -60 to +60 degrees, which is in close resemblance to the rosettes made of dark mottles and fibrils seen in projection with the solar disk.

Quantifying Spicules

Understanding the dynamic solar chromosphere is fundamental in solar physics. Spicules are an important feature of the chromosphere, connecting the photosphere to the corona, potentially mediating the transfer of energy and mass. The aim of this work is to study the properties of spicules over different regions of the sun. Our goal is to investigate if there is more than one type of spicules, and how spicules behave in the quiet sun, coronal holes, and active regions. We make use of high-cadence and high-spatial resolution Ca II H observations taken by Hinode/SOT. Making use of a semi-automated detection algorithm, we self-consistently track and measure the properties of 519 spicules over different regions. We find clear evidence of two types of spicules. Type I spicules show a rise and fall and have typical lifetimes of 150-400 s and maximum ascending velocities of 15-40 km/s, while type II spicules have shorter lifetimes of 50-150 s, faster velocities of 30-110 km/s, and are not seen to fall down, but rather fade at around their maximum length. Type II spicules are the most common, seen in quiet sun and coronal holes. Type I spicules are seen mostly in active regions. There are regional differences between quiet sun and coronal hole spicules, likely attributable to the different field configurations. The properties of type II spicules are consistent with published results of Rapid Blueshifted Events (RBEs), supporting the hypothesis that RBEs are their disk counterparts. For type I spicules we find the relations between their properties to be consistent with a magnetoacoustic shock wave driver, and with dynamic fibrils as their disk counterpart. The driver of type II spicules remains unclear from limb observations.

MHD Waves and Coronal Heating: Unifying Empirical and MHD Turbulence Models

We present a new global model of the solar corona, including the low corona, the transition region and the top of chromosphere. The realistic 3D magnetic field is simulated using the data from the photospheric magnetic field measurements. The distinctive feature of the new model is incorporating the MHD Alfven wave turbulence. We assume this turbulence and its non-linear dissipation to be the only momentum and energy source for heating the coronal plasma and driving the solar wind. The difference between the turbulence dissipation efficiency in coronal holes and that in closed field regions is because the non-linear cascade rate degrades in strongly anisotropic turbulence in coronal holes (no inward propagating wave), thus resulting in colder coronal holes with the bi-modal solar wind originating from them. The detailed presentation of the theoretical model is illustrated with the synthetic images for multi-wavelength EUV emission compared with the observations from SDO AIA and Stereo EUVI instruments for the Carrington rotation 2107.

MHD Waves and Coronal Heating: Unifying Empirical and MHD Turbulence Models [Replacement]

We present a new global model of the solar corona, including the low corona, the transition region and the top of chromosphere. The realistic 3D magnetic field is simulated using the data from the photospheric magnetic field measurements. The distinctive feature of the new model is incorporating the MHD Alfven wave turbulence. We assume this turbulence and its non-linear dissipation to be the only momentum and energy source for heating the coronal plasma and driving the solar wind. The difference between the turbulence dissipation efficiency in coronal holes and that in closed field regions is because the non-linear cascade rate degrades in strongly anisotropic turbulence in coronal holes (no inward propagating wave), thus resulting in colder coronal holes with the bi-modal solar wind originating from them. The detailed presentation of the theoretical model is illustrated with the synthetic images for multi-wavelength EUV emission compared with the observations from SDO AIA and Stereo EUVI instruments for the Carrington rotation 2107.

Short Term Topological Changes of Coronal Holes Associated with Prominence Eruptions and Subsequent CMEs

We study the short–term topological changes of equatorial and polar coronal hole (CH) boundaries, such as a variation of their area and disintegration, associated to reconnection with nearby (within 15$^\circ$ distance) quiescent prominence magnetic fields leading to eruptions and subsequent Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). The examples presented here correspond to the recent solar minimum years 2008 and 2009. We consider a temporal window of one day between the CH topological changes and the start and end times of prominence eruptions and onset of CMEs. To establish this association we took into account observational conditions related to the instability of prominence/filaments, the occurrence of a CME, as well as the subsequent evolution after the CME. We found an association between short–term local topological changes in CH boundaries and the formation/disappearance of bright points near them, as well as, between short–term topological changes within the whole CH and eruptions of nearby quiescent prominences followed by the appearance of one or more CMEs.

The SPOCA-suite: a software for extraction and tracking of Active Regions and Coronal Holes on EUV images

Precise localisation and characterization of active regions and coronal holes as observed by EUV imagers are crucial for a wide range of solar and helio-physics studies. We describe a segmentation procedure, the SPOCA-suite, that produces catalogs of Active Regions (AR) and Coronal Holes (CH) on SDO-AIA images. The method builds upon our previous work on ‘Spatial Possibilistic Clustering Algorithm’ (SPOCA) and substantially improve it in several ways. The SPOCA-suite is applied in near real time on AIA archive and produces entries into the AR and CH catalogs of the Heliophysics Event Knowledgebase (HEK) every four hours. We give an illustration of the use of SPOCA for determination of the CH filling factors. This reports is intended as a reference guide for the users of SPoCA output.

The Role of Type II Spicules in the Upper Solar Atmosphere [Replacement]

We examine the suggestion that most of the hot plasma in the Sun’s corona comes from type II spicule material that is heated as it is ejected from the chromosphere. This contrasts with the traditional view that the corona is filled via chromospheric evaporation that results from coronal heating. We explore the observational consequences of a hypothetical spicule dominated corona and conclude from the large discrepancy between predicted and actual observations that only a small fraction of the hot plasma can be supplied by spicules (<2% in active regions, <5% in the quiet Sun, and <8% in coronal holes). The red-blue asymmetries of EUV spectral lines and the ratio of lower transition region (LTR; T<0.1 MK) to coronal emission measures are both predicted to be 2 orders of magnitude larger than observed. Furthermore, hot spicule material would cool dramatically by adiabatic expansion as it rises into the corona, so substantial coronal heating would be needed to maintain the high temperatures that are seen at all altitudes. We suggest that the corona contains a mixture of thin strands, some of which are populated by spicule injections, but most of which are not. A majority of the observed hot emission originates in non-spicule strands and is explained by traditional coronal heating models. However, since these models predict far too little emission from the LTR, most of this emission comes from the bulk of the spicule material that is only weakly heated and visible in He II (304 A) as it falls back to the surface.

The Role of Type II Spicules in the Upper Solar Atmosphere [Replacement]

We examine the suggestion that most of the hot plasma in the Sun’s corona comes from type II spicule material that is heated as it is ejected from the chromosphere. This contrasts with the traditional view that the corona is filled via chromospheric evaporation that results from coronal heating. We explore the observational consequences of a hypothetical spicule dominated corona and conclude from the large discrepancy between predicted and actual observations that only a small fraction of the hot plasma can be supplied by spicules (<2% in active regions, <5% in the quiet Sun, and <8% in coronal holes). The red-blue asymmetries of EUV spectral lines and the ratio of lower transition region (LTR; T<0.1 MK) to coronal emission measures are both predicted to be 2 orders of magnitude larger than observed. Furthermore, hot spicule material would cool dramatically by adiabatic expansion as it rises into the corona, so substantial coronal heating would be needed to maintain the high temperatures that are seen at all altitudes. We suggest that the corona contains a mixture of thin strands, some of which are populated by spicule injections, but most of which are not. A majority of the observed hot emission originates in non-spicule strands and is explained by traditional coronal heating models. However, since these models predict far too little emission from the LTR, most of this emission comes from the bulk of the spicule material that is only weakly heated and visible in He II (304 A) as it falls back to the surface.

Towards the reconstruction of the EUV irradiance for solar cycle 23

We present preliminary reconstructions of the EUV from 26 to 34\,nm from February 1997 to May 2005, covering most of solar cycle 23. The reconstruction is based on synthetic EUV spectra calculated with the spectral synthesis code Solar Modeling in 3D (SolMod3D). These spectra are weighted by the relative area coverage of the coronal features as identified from EIT images. The calculations are based on one-dimensional atmospheric structures that represent a temporal and spatial mean of the chromosphere, transition region, and corona. The employed segmentation analysis considers coronal holes, the quiet corona, and active regions identified on the solar disk. The reconstructed EUV irradiance shows a good agreement with observations taken with the CELIAS/SEM instrument onboard SOHO. Further improvement of the reconstruction including more solar features as well as the off-limb detection of activity features will be addressed in the near future.

Coronal hole boundaries at small scales: III. EIS and SUMER views

We report on the plasma properties of small-scale transient events identified in the quiet Sun, coronal holes and their boundaries. We use spectroscopic co-observations from SUMER/SoHO and EIS/Hinode combined with high cadence imaging data from XRT/Hinode. We measure Doppler shifts using single and multiple Gauss fits of transition region and coronal lines as well as electron densities and temperatures. We combine co-temporal imaging and spectroscopy to separate brightening expansions from plasma flows. The transient brightening events in coronal holes and their boundaries were found to be very dynamical producing high density outflows at large speeds. Most of these events represent X-ray jets from pre-existing or newly emerging coronal bright points at X-ray temperatures. The average electron density of the jets is logNe ~ 8.76 cm^-3 while in the flaring site it is logNe ~ 9.51 cm^-3. The jet temperatures reach a maximum of 2.5 MK but in the majority of the cases the temperatures do not exceed 1.6 MK. The footpoints of jets have temperatures of a maximum of 2.5 MK though in a single event scanned a minute after the flaring the measured temperature was 12 MK. The jets are produced by multiple microflaring in the transition region and corona. Chromospheric emission was only detected in their footpoints and was only associated with downflows. The Doppler shift measurements in the quiet Sun transient brightenings confirmed that these events do not produce jet-like phenomena. The plasma flows in these phenomena remain trapped in closed loops.

Radio-loud CMEs from the disk center lacking shocks at 1 AU

A coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with a type II burst and originating close to the center of the solar disk typically results in a shock at Earth in 2-3 days and hence can be used to predict shock arrival at Earth. However, a significant fraction (about 28%) of such CMEs producing type II bursts were not associated with shocks at Earth. We examined a set of 21 type II bursts observed by the Wind/WAVES experiment at decameter-hectometric (DH) wavelengths that had CME sources very close to the disk center (within a central meridian distance of 30 degrees), but did not have a shock at Earth. We find that the near-Sun speeds of these CMEs average to ~644 km/s, only slightly higher than the average speed of CMEs associated with radio-quiet shocks. However, the fraction of halo CMEs is only ~30%, compared to 54% for the radio-quiet shocks and 91% for all radio-loud shocks. We conclude that the disk-center radio-loud CMEs with no shocks at 1 AU are generally of lower energy and they drive shocks only close to the Sun and dissipate before arriving at Earth. There is also evidence for other possible processes that lead to the lack of shock at 1 AU: (i) overtaking CME shocks merge and one observes a single shock at Earth, and (ii) deflection by nearby coronal holes can push the shocks away from the Sun-Earth line, such that Earth misses these shocks. The probability of observing a shock at 1 AU increases rapidly above 60% when the CME speed exceeds 1000 km/s and when the type II bursts propagate to frequencies below 1 MHz.

A Coronal Hole's Effects on CME Shock Morphology in the Inner Heliosphere

We use STEREO imagery to study the morphology of a shock driven by a fast coronal mass ejection (CME) launched from the Sun on 2011 March 7. The source region of the CME is located just to the east of a coronal hole. The CME ejecta is deflected away from the hole, in contrast with the shock, which readily expands into the fast outflow from the coronal hole. The result is a CME with ejecta not well centered within the shock surrounding it. The shock shape inferred from the imaging is compared with in situ data at 1 AU, where the shock is observed near Earth by the Wind spacecraft, and at STEREO-A. Shock normals computed from the in situ data are consistent with the shock morphology inferred from imaging.

Recent Observations of Plasma and Alfvenic Wave Energy Injection at the Base of the Fast Solar Wind

We take stock of recent observations that identify the episodic plasma heating and injection of Alfvenic energy at the base of fast solar wind (in coronal holes). The plasma heating is associated with the occurrence of chromospheric spicules that leave the lower solar atmosphere at speeds of order 100km/s, the hotter coronal counterpart of the spicule emits radiation characteristic of root heating that rapidly reaches temperatures of the order of 1MK. Furthermore, the same spicules and their coronal counterparts (“Propagating Coronal Disturbances”; PCD) exhibit large amplitude, high speed, Alfvenic (transverse) motion of sufficient energy content to accelerate the material to high speeds. We propose that these (disjointed) heating and accelerating components form a one-two punch to supply, and then accelerate, the fast solar wind. We consider some compositional constraints on this concept, extend the premise to the slow solar wind, and identify future avenues of exploration.

Generation of quasi-periodic waves and flows in the solar atmosphere by oscillatory reconnection

We investigate the long-term evolution of an initially buoyant magnetic flux tube emerging into a gravitationally-stratified coronal hole environment and report on the resulting oscillations and outflows. We perform 2.5D nonlinear numerical simulations, generalizing the models of McLaughlin et al. (2009) and Murray et al. (2009). We find that the physical mechanism of oscillatory reconnection naturally generates quasi-periodic vertical outflows, with a transverse/swaying aspect. The vertical outflows consist of both a periodic aspect and evidence of a positively-directed flow. The speed of the vertical outflow (20-60 km/s) is comparable to those reported in the observational literature. We also perform a parametric study varying the magnetic strength of the buoyant flux tube and find a range of associated periodicities: 1.75-3.5 min. Thus, the mechanism of oscillatory reconnection may provide a physical explanation to some of the high-speed, quasi-periodic, transverse outflows/jets recently reported by a multitude of authors and instruments.

Signatures of the slow solar wind streams from active regions in the inner corona

Some of local sources of the slow solar wind can be associated with spectroscopically detected plasma outflows at edges of active regions accompanied with specific signatures in the inner corona. The EUV telescopes (e.g. SPIRIT/CORONAS-F, TESIS/CORONAS-Photon and SWAP/PROBA2) sometimes observed extended ray-like structures seen at the limb above active regions in 1MK iron emission lines and described as “coronal rays”. To verify the relationship between coronal rays and plasma outflows, we analyze an isolated active region (AR) adjacent to small coronal hole (CH) observed by different EUV instruments in the end of July – beginning of August 2009. On August 1 EIS revealed in the AR two compact outflows with the Doppler velocities V =10-30 km/s accompanied with fan loops diverging from their regions. At the limb the ARCH interface region produced coronal rays observed by EUVI/STEREO-A on July 31 as well as by TESIS on August 7. The rays were co-aligned with open magnetic field lines expanded to the streamer stalks. Using the DEM analysis, it was found that the fan loops diverged from the outflow regions had the dominant temperature of ~1 MK, which is similar to that of the outgoing plasma streams. Parameters of the solar wind measured by STEREO-B, ACE, WIND, STEREO-A were conformed with identification of the ARCH as a source region at the Wang-Sheeley-Arge map of derived coronal holes for CR 2086. The results of the study support the suggestion that coronal rays can represent signatures of outflows from ARs propagating in the inner corona along open field lines into the heliosphere.

Signatures of the slow solar wind streams from active regions in the inner corona [Replacement]

Some of local sources of the slow solar wind can be associated with spectroscopically detected plasma outflows at edges of active regions accompanied with specific signatures in the inner corona. The EUV telescopes (e.g. SPIRIT/CORONAS-F, TESIS/CORONAS-Photon and SWAP/PROBA2) sometimes observed extended ray-like structures seen at the limb above active regions in 1MK iron emission lines and described as “coronal rays”. To verify the relationship between coronal rays and plasma outflows, we analyze an isolated active region (AR) adjacent to small coronal hole (CH) observed by different EUV instruments in the end of July – beginning of August 2009. On August 1 EIS revealed in the AR two compact outflows with the Doppler velocities V =10-30 km/s accompanied with fan loops diverging from their regions. At the limb the ARCH interface region produced coronal rays observed by EUVI/STEREO-A on July 31 as well as by TESIS on August 7. The rays were co-aligned with open magnetic field lines expanded to the streamer stalks. Using the DEM analysis, it was found that the fan loops diverged from the outflow regions had the dominant temperature of ~1 MK, which is similar to that of the outgoing plasma streams. Parameters of the solar wind measured by STEREO-B, ACE, WIND, STEREO-A were conformed with identification of the ARCH as a source region at the Wang-Sheeley-Arge map of derived coronal holes for CR 2086. The results of the study support the suggestion that coronal rays can represent signatures of outflows from ARs propagating in the inner corona along open field lines into the heliosphere.

Relation between current sheets and vortex sheets in stationary incompressible MHD

Magnetohydrodynamic configurations with strong localized current concentrations and vortices play an important role for the dissipation of energy in space and astrophysical plasma. Within this work we investigate the relation between current sheets and vortex sheets in incompressible, stationary equilibria. For this approach it is helpful that the similar mathematical structure of magnetohydrostatics and stationary incompressible hydrodynamics allows us to transform static equilibria into stationary ones. The main control function for such a transformation is the profile of the Alfven-Mach number M_A, which is always constant along magnetic field lines, but can change from one field line to another. In the case of a global constant M_A, vortices and electric current concentrations are parallel. More interesting is the nonlinear case, where M_A varies perpendicular to the field lines. This is a typical situation at boundary layers like the magnetopause, heliopause, the solar wind flowing around helmet streamers and at the boundary of solar coronal holes. The corresponding current and vortex sheets show in some cases also an alignment, but not in every case. For special density distributions in 2D it is possible to have current but no vortex sheets. In 2D vortex sheets of field aligned-flows can also exist without strong current sheets, taking the limit of small Alfven Mach numbers into account. The current sheet can vanish if the Alfven Mach number is (almost) constant and the density gradient is large across some boundary layer. It should be emphasized that the used theory is not only valid for small Alfven Mach numbers M_A<<1, but also for M_A~1. Connection to other theoretical approaches and observations and physical effects in space plasmas are presented. Differences in the various aspects of theoretical investigations of current sheets and vortex sheets are given.

Morphological evolution of a 3D CME cloud reconstructed from three viewpoints

The propagation properties of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are crucial to predict its geomagnetic effect. A newly developed three dimensional (3D) mask fitting reconstruction method using coronagraph images from three viewpoints has been described and applied to the CME ejected on August 7, 2010. The CME’s 3D localisation, real shape and morphological evolution are presented. Due to its interaction with the ambient solar wind, the morphology of this CME changed significantly in the early phase of evolution. Two hours after its initiation, it was expanding almost self-similarly. CME’s 3D localisation is quite helpful to link remote sensing observations to in situ measurements. The investigated CME was propagating to Venus with its flank just touching STEREO B. Its corresponding ICME in the interplanetary space shows a possible signature of a magnetic cloud with a preceding shock in VEX observations, while from STEREO B only a shock is observed. We have calculated three principle axes for the reconstructed 3D CME cloud. The orientation of the major axis is in general consistent with the orientation of a filament (polarity inversion line) observed by SDO/AIA and SDO/HMI. The flux rope axis derived by the MVA analysis from VEX indicates a radial-directed axis orientation. It might be that locally only the leg of the flux rope passed through VEX. The height and speed profiles from the Sun to Venus are obtained. We find that the CME speed possibly had been adjusted to the speed of the ambient solar wind flow after leaving COR2 field of view and before arriving Venus. A southward deflection of the CME from the source region is found from the trajectory of the CME geometric center. We attribute it to the influence of the coronal hole where the fast solar wind emanated from.

Coronal Temperature Maps from Solar EUV images: a Blind Source Separation Approach

Multi-wavelength solar images in the EUV are routinely used for analysing solar features such as coronal holes, filaments, and flares. However, images taken in different bands often look remarkably similar as each band receives contributions coming from regions with a range of different temperatures. This has motivated the search for empirical techniques that may unmix these contributions and concentrate salient morphological features of the corona in a smaller set of less redundant source images. Blind Source Separation (BSS) precisely does this. Here we show how this novel concept also provides new insight into the physics of the solar corona, using observations made by SDO/AIA. The source images are extracted using a Bayesian positive source separation technique. We show how observations made in six spectral bands, corresponding to optically thin emissions, can be reconstructed by linear combination of three sources. These sources have a narrower temperature response and allow for considerable data reduction since the pertinent information from all six bands can be condensed in only one single composite picture. In addition, they give access to empirical temperature maps of the corona. The limitations of the BSS technique and some applications are briefly discussed.

Properties of ion-cyclotron waves in the open solar corona

Remote observations of coronal holes have strongly implicated the resonant interactions of ion-cyclotron waves with ions as a principal mechanism for plasma heating and acceleration of the fast solar wind. In order to study these waves, a WKB (Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin) linear perturbation analysis is used in the work frame of the collisionless multi-fluid model where we consider in addition to the protons a second ion component made of alpha particles. We consider a non-uniform background plasma describing a funnel region in the open coronal holes and we use the ray tracing Hamiltonian type equations to compute the ray path of the waves and the spatial variation of their properties.

Automation of the filament tracking in the framework of the HELIO project [Replacement]

We present a new method to automatically track filaments over the solar disk. The filaments are first detected on Meudon Spectroheliograph H{\alpha} images of the Sun, applying the technique developed by Fuller, Aboudarham, and Bentley (Solar phys. 227, 61, 2005). This technique combines cleaning processes, image segmentation based on region growing, and morphological parameter ex- traction, including the determination of filament skeletons. The coordinates of the skeleton pixels, given in a heliocentric system, are then converted to a more appropriate reference frame that follows the rotation of the Sun surface. In such a frame, a co-rotating filament is always located around the same position, and its skeletons (extracted from each image) are thus spatially close, forming a group of adjacent features. In a third step, the shape of each skeleton is compared with its neighbours using a curve-matching algorithm. This step will permit us to define the probability [P ] that two close filaments in the co-rotating frame are actually the same one observed on two different images. At the end, the pairs of features, for which the corresponding probability is greater than a threshold value, are associated using tracking identification indexes.On a representative sample of filaments, the good agreement between automated and manual tracking confirms the reliability of the technique to be applied on large data sets. Especially, this code is already used in the framework of the Heliophysics Integrated Observatory (HELIO) to populate a catalogue dedicated to solar and heliospheric features (HFC). An extension of this method to others filament observations, and possibly the sunspots, faculae, and coronal holes tracking can be also envisaged.

Automation of the filament tracking in the frame of the HELIO project

We present a new method to automatically track filaments over the solar disk. The filaments are first detected on Meudon Spectroheliograph Halpha images of the Sun, applying the technique developed by Fuller, Aboudarham, and Bentley (2005). This latter combines cleaning processes, image segmentation based on region growing, and morphological parameters extraction, including the determination of filament skeletons. The coordinates of the skeleton pixels, given in a heliocentric system, are then converted in a more appropriate reference frame that follows the rotation of the Sun surface. In such a frame, a co-rotating filament is always located around the same position, and its skeletons (extracted from each image) are thus spatially close, forming a group of nearby features. In a third time, the shape of each skeleton is compared with its neighbours using a curve matching algorithm. This step will permit to define the probability P that two close filaments in the co-rotating frame, are actually the same one observed on two different images. At the end, the pairs of features for which the corresponding probability is greater than a threshold value, are associated using unique tracking identification numbers.\On a representative sample of filaments, the good agreement between automated and manual tracking confirms the reliability of the technique to be applied on large data sets. Especially, this code is already used in the frame of the Heliophysics Integrated Observatory (HELIO) to populate a catalogue dedicated to solar and heliospheric features (HFC). An extension of this method to others filament observations, and possibly the sunspots, faculae, and coronal holes tracking can be also envisaged.

 

You need to log in to vote

The blog owner requires users to be logged in to be able to vote for this post.

Alternatively, if you do not have an account yet you can create one here.

Powered by Vote It Up

^ Return to the top of page ^