DE.5.02 — Coronal Seismology: Inferring Magnetic Fields and Exploring Damping Mechanisms

Date & Time

Aug 10th at 8:40 AM until 8:50 AM




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Author(s): R.T.James McAteer2, Jack Ireland1

Institution(s): 1. Adnet, NASA/GSFC, 2. New Mexico State University

Recent observations in extreme ultra-violet wavelengths have shown that the solar corona oscillates at many different spatial sizes and temporal size scales. However, much remains unknown about many of these oscillations; they are intermittent for unknown reasons, appear on some coronal features and not on other, similar, neighboring features, and may (or may not) be magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) wave modes. Definitive causes of the structure and origins of these oscillations are still largely lacking. Here, we use automated oscillation detection routines to study a large sample of oscillations, inferring physical mechanisms as to how and why the corona varies.
First, we measure the oscillation content of different physical regions on the Sun in SDO AIA data, using two different automated oscillation detection algorithms. This shows a power-law distribution in oscillatory frequency, disagreeing with strong historical assumptions about the nature of coronal heating and coronal seismology. We show how such disagreements can be reconciled by using a power-law background for oscillatory signals.
Second we use coronal seismology to provide a means to infer coronal plasma parameters and to differentiate between potential damping mechanisms. Recent sets of kink-mode observations (usually 5-8 loops) have come insights into how the coronal is structured and how it evolves. We present a complex set of flare-induced, off-limb, coronal kink-mode oscillations of almost 100 loops. These display a spread of periods, amplitudes, and damping times, allowing us to probe the spatial distribution of these parameters for the first time. Both Fourier and Wavelet routines are used to automatically extract and characterize these oscillations. An initial period of P~500s, results in an inferred coronal magnetic field of B~20G. The decrease in the oscillation period of the loop position corresponds to a drop in number density inside the coronal loop, as predicted by MHD. As the the period drops below a threshold of P~300s, our MHD model cannot explain the sudden decrease in both period and density. A secondary dissipation mechanism must occur at this point in time and space.