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Researchers Reveal Fine Structures and Small-scale Dynamics in Prominences

Jun 12, 2024

Dr. WANG Jincheng and his colleagues from Yunnan Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the collaborators, conducted a detailed study of solar prominences using data from the one-meter New Vacuum Solar Telescope (NVST) and the Chinese Hα Solar Explorer (CHASE). They investigated the physical nature of small-scale oscillations in prominences and their contribution to coronal heating. The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Solar prominences display a variety of complex fine structures and dynamic processes, including vertical structures, oscillatory phenomena, transverse horizontal motions, bubbles at the base, and upflow plumes. These features play a key role in understanding the structure of solar prominences. Due to the limited availability of high temporal and spatial resolution observational data, research in this area is still in its early stage, and many physical processes remain unexplained.

The high temporal-spatial resolution observational data from NVST, currently the world’s best ground-based telescope for imaging solar limb prominences, have enabled the study of these fine structures and dynamics. Besides, the CHASE offers unique spectral observation capabilities for solar prominences. In this study, researchers extensively studied the wave phenomena occurring in the vertical threads within prominences using data from these two Chinese solar telescopes.

They found that during the ascent of prominences, the vertical threads exhibited transverse oscillations accompanied by the upwelling material flow. These oscillations had periods ranging from 13 to 16 minutes, amplitudes of approximately 0.6 Mm, and velocity amplitudes of 3-4 km/s, indicating small-scale oscillations.

Furthermore, researchers observed that the amplitudes, wavelengths, and periods of these oscillations amplified over time during propagation, and their phase velocities were comparable with the upward material flow. This phenomenon suggested negative-energy wave instability.

Based on prominence seismology and observational characteristics, the magnetic field of the vertical threads was estimated to be 1-3 Gauss with an inclination angle of 31 degrees relative to the plane of the sky. It was estimated that the energy carried by these transverse oscillations is not sufficient for coronal heating.

This study sheds light on the dynamics and magnetic characteristics of solar prominences, enriching our comprehension of their behavior within the solar atmosphere.

Contact

WANG Jincheng

Yunnan Observatories

E-mail:

Negative-energy Waves in the Vertical Threads of a Solar Prominence

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