European Solar Physics Online Seminar

Following an initiative by the University of Oslo the MPS will participate in the "European Solar Physics Online Seminar" series (ESPOS). Details can be found here:
The aim of this video conference series is to promote ideas more widely with a specialized audience, and give some exposure to cutting-edge research for students and other young researchers that do not regularly travel to conferences. The ESPOS series is planned to take place every second Thursday at 11am.
Room: Aquila + Bootes Host: Andreas Lagg
The coupling of fast and Alfven magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves is of fundamental interest in astrophysical plasmas. Under certain conditions, Alfven waves can be resonantly excited by fast mode waves, resulting in a localised accumulation of energy in the plasma. In the solar community this is often referred to as resonant absorption, while in the magnetospheric community it's known as field line resonance. These processes have applications in coronal heating and in magnetospheric dynamics.Alfven resonances are well understood in 1D and 2D, but not so in 3D, particularly in non-Cartesian geometries. We present a theoretical way of understanding the structure and temporal development of Alfven resonances in 3D, which is corroborated by numerical simulations. [more]
We study small-scale brightenings in Ca II 8542 Å line-core images to determine their nature and effect on localized heating and mass transfer in active regions. To that end, we analyzed high-resolution 2D spectroscopic observations of an active region acquired with the GREGOR Fabry-Perot Interferometer attached to the 1.5-meter GREGOR telescope onTenerife, Spain. The ground-based data were complemented with AIA and HMI images from SDO. Inversions of the spectra were carried out using NICOLE. We identified three brightenings of sizes up to 2”x2”. We found evidence that the brightenings belonged to the footpoints of a microflare (MF). The properties of the observed brightenings disqualified the scenarios of Ellerman bombs or IRIS bombs. However, this MF shared some common properties with flaring active-region fibrils or flaring arch filaments (FAFs): (1) FAFs and MFs are both apparent in chromospheric and coronal layers according to the AIA channels, and (2) both show flaring arches with lifetimes of about 3.0-3.5 min and lengths of about 20”. Moreover, the inversions revealed heating by 600 K at the footpoint location in the ambient chromosphere during the impulsive phase. Bidirectional flows were present in the footpoints of the MF. [more]
Sunspots are the longest known manifestation of solar activity and their magnetic nature has been known for more than a century. Despite this, the boundary between umbrae and penumbrae, the two fundamental sunspot regions, has hitherto been solely defined by an intensity threshold. We now unveil the empirical law of the magnetic nature of the umbra-penumbra boundary in stable sunspots: an invariant vertical component of the magnetic field. We study the magnetic nature of umbra-penumbra boundaries in sunspots of different sizes, morphology, evolutionary stage, and phase of the solar cycle. We use a sample of 88 scans of Hinode/SOT spectropolarimeter to infer the magnetic field properties at the umbral boundaries. We define these boundaries by an intensity threshold and perform a statistically analysis of the magnetic field properties at these boundaries. We statistically prove that the umbra-penumbra boundary in stable sunspots is characterised by an invariant value of the vertical component of the magnetic field: The vertical component of the magnetic field strength does not depend on the umbra size, its morphology, and phase of the solar cycle. With statistical Bayesian inference, we find that the vertical component of the magnetic field strength is, with 99\% likelihood, in the range of 1849-1885 G with the most probable value of 1867 G. In contrast, the magnetic field strength and inclination averaged along individual boundaries are found to be dependent on the umbral size: The larger the umbra, the stronger and more horizontal the magnetic field at its boundary is. [more]
Propagating slow magneto-acoustic waves are regularly observed in the solar corona, particularly in sunspot related loop structures. These waves exhibit rapid damping as they propagate along the loops. Several physical and geometrical effects were found to produce the observed decay in the wave amplitude. It has also been shown that the damping is frequency dependent. A majority of the observed characteristics have been attributed to damping by thermal conduction in the solar corona. Although it is believed that these waves originate in the photosphere, their damping behaviour in the sub-coronal layers is relatively less studied. Using high spatial and temporal resolution images of a sunspot, we investigated propagation and damping characteristics of slow magnetoacoustic waves up to transition region heights. The major conclusions from this study will be discussed in the talk which include: 1) The energy flux in slow waves estimated from the relative amplitudes decays gradually right from the photosphere even when the oscillation amplitude is increasing. 2) The damping displayed by slow waves is frequency dependent well below coronal heights. 3) A spatial comparison of power spectra across the umbra highlights enhancement of high-frequency waves near the umbral center. [more]
Ellerman bombs and UV bursts are transient brightenings that are ubiquitously observed in the lower atmospheres of active and emerging flux regions. While some Ellerman bombs display clear UV burst signatures, not all have correlated UV signal or vice versa, suggesting the underlying atmospheric and magnetic properties may differ between events. As both are believed to pinpoint sites of magnetic reconnection in reconfiguring fields, understanding their occurrence and detailed evolution may provide helpful insights in the overall evolution of active regions. Here we present results from observations and inversions of SST/CRISP and CHROMIS, as well as IRIS data of these transient events. At unprecedented spatial resolution the CHROMIS Ca II H & K observations reveal dynamic fine structure suggesting a plasmoid-mediated reconnection process. We investigate several cases, combining information from the Mg II h & k and Ca II 8542Å and H & K lines in order to infer the temperature stratification and magnetic field configuration within which these events occur. I’ll address the difficulties of successfully inverting their Si IV profiles and will discuss our results in light of the current debate on the connection between UV bursts and Ellerman bombs, their occurrence heights and in particular the temperatures that they may (or may not) reach. [more]

ESP Online Seminar: Multi-height spectropolarimetric study of MHD waves in a big sunspot observed with IBIS (M. Stangalini)

We present preliminary results derived from the analysis of spectropolarimetric measurements of active region AR12546, which represents one of the largest sunspots to have emerged onto the solar surface over the last 20 years. The region was observed with full-Stokes scans of the Fe I 617.3 nm and Ca II 854.2 nm lines with the Interferometric BIdimensional Spectrometer (IBIS) instrument at the Dunn Solar Telescope over an uncommon, extremely long time interval exceeding three hours. We show preliminary results from the phase lag analysis of different quantities and discuss the results in terms of the literature on the subject and MHD wave propagation theory. [more]
The ubiquitous presence of small magnetic elements in the Quiet Sun represents a prominent coupling between the photosphere and the upper layers of the Sun’s atmosphere. Small magnetic element tracking has been widely used to study the transport and diffusion of the magnetic field on the solar photosphere. From the analysis of the displacement spectrum of these tracers, it has been recently agreed that a regime of super-diffusivity dominates the solar surface. In this talk we will focus on the analysis of the bipolar magnetic pairs in the solar photosphere and their diffusion properties, using a 25-h dataset from the HINODE satellite. Interestingly, the displacement spectrum for bipolar couples behaves similarly to the case where all magnetic pairs are considered. We also measure, from the same dataset, the magnetic emergence rate of the bipolar magnetic pairs and we interpret them as the magnetic footpoints of emerging magnetic loops. The measured magnetic emergence rate is used to constrain a simplified model that mimics the advection on the solar surface and evolves the position of a great number of loops, taking into account emergence, reconnection and cancellation events. In particular we compute the energy released by the reconnection between different magnetic loops in the nano-flares energy range. Our model gives a quantitative estimate of the energy released by the reconfiguration of the magnetic loops in a quiet Sun area as a function of height in the solar atmosphere, from hundreds of Km above the photosphere up to the corona, suggesting that an efficiency of ~10% in the energy deposition might sustain the million degree corona. [more]
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