Publications (163)608.39 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: This document was created by the Solar Simulations for the Atacama Large Millimeter Observatory Network (SSALMON) in preparation of the first regular observations of the Sun with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), which are anticipated to start in ALMA Cycle 4 in October 2016. The science cases presented here demonstrate that a large number of scientifically highly interesting observations could be made already with the still limited solar observing modes foreseen for Cycle 4 and that ALMA has the potential to make important contributions to answering longstanding scientific questions in solar physics. With the proposal deadline for ALMA Cycle 4 in April 2016 and the Commissioning and Science Verification campaign in December 2015 in sight, several of the SSALMON Expert Teams composed strategic documents in which they outlined potential solar observations that could be feasible given the anticipated technical capabilities in Cycle 4. These documents have been combined and supplemented with an analysis, resulting in recommendations for solar observing with ALMA in Cycle 4. In addition, the detailed science cases also demonstrate the scientific priorities of the solar physics community and which capabilities are wanted for the next observing cycles. The work on this White Paper effort was coordinated in close cooperation with the two international solar ALMA development studies led by T. Bastian (NRAO, USA) and R. Brajsa, (ESO). This document will be further updated until the beginning of Cycle 4 in October 2016. In particular, we plan to adjust the technical capabilities of the solar observing modes once finally decided and to further demonstrate the feasibility and scientific potential of the included science cases by means of numerical simulations of the solar atmosphere and corresponding simulated ALMA observations.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The temporal evolution of a solar prominence inserted in a threedimensional magnetic flux rope is investigated numerically. Using the model of Titov Demoulin (1999) under the regime of weak twist, the cold and dense prominence counteracts gravity by modifying the initially forcefree magnetic configuration. In some cases a quasistationary situation is achieved after the relaxation phase, characterized by the excitation of standing vertical oscillations. These oscillations show a strong attenuation with time produced by the mechanism of continuum damping due to the inhomogeneous transition between the prominence and solar corona. The characteristic period of the vertical oscillations does not depend strongly on the twist of the flux rope. Nonlinearity is the responsible for triggering the KelvinHelmholtz instability associated to the vertical oscillations and that eventually produces horizontal structures. Contrary to other configurations in which the longitudinal axis of the prominence is permeated by a perpendicular magnetic field, like in unsheared arcades, the orientation of the prominence along the flux rope axis prevents the development of RayleighTaylor instabilities and therefore the appearance of vertical structuring along this axis.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present the first results of the joint PolishCzech observational campaign devoted to simultaneous observations of prominence oscillations. As was shown earlier by other authors, not all of the observed periodicities in the Doppler signal come from solar sources (seeing and slight changes in the position of the spectrograph slit may have a significant influence). To exclude false signals, we performed simultaneous observations of the same object on the Sun using two independent telescopes. On 23 September 2010, a quiescent prominence on the northeastern part of the solar limb was observed with two distant solar telescopes: the Large Coronagraph installed at the Białków Observatory, Poland, and the Horizontal Telescope at the Ondřejov Observatory, Czech Republic. Of the many detected periods, the periods of 26, 31, and 55 min unquestionably originate in the prominence, but other periodicities are spurious. Proper detection of periodicities in prominences is crucial for modelling wave propagation and movements in the solar plasma, as well as for seismologically inverting prominence structures and physical parameters. 
Article: Longterm Variation in the Sun's Activity Caused by Magnetic Rossby Waves in the Tachocline
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ABSTRACT: Longterm records of sunspot number and concentrations of cosmogenic radionuclides (10Be and 14C) on the Earth reveal the variation of the Sun's magnetic activity over hundreds and thousands of years. We identify several clear periods in sunspot, 10Be, and 14C data as 1000, 500, 350, 200 and 100 years. We found that the periods of the first five spherical harmonics of the slow magnetic Rossby mode in the presence of a steady toroidal magnetic field of 12001300 G in the lower tachocline are in perfect agreement with the time scales of observed variations. The steady toroidal magnetic field can be generated in the lower tachocline either due to the steady dynamo magnetic field for low magnetic diffusivity or due to the action of the latitudinal differential rotation on the weak poloidal primordial magnetic field, which penetrates from the radiative interior. The slow magnetic Rossby waves lead to variations of the steady toroidal magnetic field in the lower tachocline, which modulate the dynamo magnetic field and consequently the solar cycle strength. This result constitutes a key point for longterm prediction of the cycle strength. According to our model, the next deep minimum in solar activity is expected during the first half of this century.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The formation and dynamics of coronal rain are currently not fully understood. Coronal rain is the fall of cool and dense blobs formed by thermal instability in the solar corona towards the solar surface with acceleration smaller than gravitational free fall. We aim to study the observational evidence of the formation of coronal rain and to trace the detailed dynamics of individual blobs. We used time series of the 171 \AA\, and 304 \AA\, spectral lines obtained by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on board the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) above active region AR 11420 on February 22, 2012. Observations show that a coronal loop disappeared in the 171 \AA\ channel and appeared in the 304 \AA\ line$\text{}\text{}$ more than one hour later, which indicates a rapid cooling of the coronal loop from 1 MK to 0.05 MK. An energy estimation shows that the radiation is higher than the heat input, which indicates socalled catastrophic cooling. The cooling was accompanied by the formation of coronal rain in the form of falling cold plasma. We studied two different sequences of falling blobs. The first sequence includes three different blobs. The mean velocities of the blobs were estimated to be 50 km s$^{1}$, 60 km s$^{1}$ and 40 km s$^{1}$. A polynomial fit shows the different values of the acceleration for different blobs, which are lower than freefall in the solar corona. The first and second blob move along the same path, but with and without acceleration, respectively. We performed simple numerical simulations for two consecutive blobs, which show that the second blob moves in a medium that is modified by the passage of the first blob. Therefore, the second blob has a relatively high speed and no acceleration, as is shown by observations. The second sequence includes two different blobs with mean velocities of 100 km s$^{1}$ and 90 km s$^{1}$, respectively.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We investigate the nature of dissipative instability at the boundary (seen here as tangential discontinuity) between the viscous corona and the partially ionised prominence plasma in the incompressible limit. The importance of the partial ionisation is investigated in terms of the ionisation fraction. Matching the solutions for the transversal component of the velocity and total pressure at the interface between the prominence and coronal plasmas, we derive a dispersion relation whose imaginary part describes the evolution of the instability. Results are obtained in the limit of weak dissipation. Using simple analytical methods, we show that dissipative instabilities appear for flow speeds that are lower than the KelvinHelmholtz instability threshold. While viscosity tends to destabilise the plasma, the effect of partial ionisation (through the Cowling resistivity) will act towards stabilising the interface. For ionisation degrees closer to a neutral gas the interface will be unstable for larger values of equilibrium flow. The same principle is assumed when studying the appearance of instability at the interface between prominences and dark plumes. The unstable mode appearing in this case has a very small growth rate and dissipative instability cannot explain the appearance of flows in plumes. The present study improves our understanding of the complexity of dynamical processes at the interface of solar prominences and solar corona, and the role partial ionisation can have on the stability of the plasma. Our results clearly show that the problem of partial ionisation introduces new aspects of plasma stability with consequences on the evolution of solar prominences.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cool and dense prominences found in the solar atmosphere are known to be partially ionized because of their relative low temperature. In this Letter, we address the longstanding problem of how the neutral component of the plasma in prominences is supported against gravity. Using the multiple fluid approach we solve the timedependent equations in two dimensions considering the frictional coupling between the neutral and ionized components of the magnetized plasma representative of a solar prominence embedded in a hot coronal environment. We demonstrate that given an initial density enhancement in the two fluids, representing the body of the prominence, the system is able to relax in the vicinity of magnetic dips to a stationary state in which both neutrals and ionized species are dynamically suspended above the photosphere. Two different coupling processes are considered in this study, collisions between ions and neutrals and charge exchange interactions. We find that for realistic conditions ions are essentially static while neutrals have a very small downflow velocity. The coupling between ions and neutrals is so strong at the prominence body that the behavior is similar to that of a single fluid with an effective density equal to the sum of the ion and neutral species. We also find that the charge exchange mechanism is about three times more efficient sustaining neutrals than elastic scattering of ions with neutrals.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this paper we present a numerical study of the time evolution of solar prominences embedded in sheared magnetic arcades. The prominence is represented by a density enhancement in a background stratified atmosphere and is connected to the photosphere through the magnetic field. By solving the ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equations in three dimensions we study the dynamics for a range of parameters representative of real prominences. Depending on the parameters considered, we find prominences that are suspended above the photosphere, i.e., detached prominences, but also configurations resembling curtain or hedgerow prominences whose material continuously connects to the photosphere. The plasma$\beta$ is an important parameter that determines the shape of the structure. In many cases magnetic RayleighTaylor (MRT) instabilities and oscillatory phenomena develop. Fingers and plumes are generated, affecting the whole prominence body and producing vertical structures in an essentially horizontal magnetic field. However, magnetic shear is able to reduce or even to suppress this instability.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Transverse oscillations of thin threads in solar prominences are frequently reported in highresolution observations. The typical periods of the oscillations are in the range of 3 to 20 min. A peculiar feature of the oscillations is that they are damped in time, with short damping times corresponding to few periods. Theoretically, the oscillations are interpreted as kink magnetohydrodynamic waves. However, the mechanism responsible for the damping is not well known. Here we perform a comparative study between different physical mechanisms that may damp kink waves in prominence threads. The considered processes are thermal conduction, cooling by radiation, resonant absorption, and ionneutral collisions. We find that thermal conduction and radiative cooling are very inefficient for the damping of kink waves. The effect of ionneutral collisions is minor for waves with periods usually observed. Resonant absorption is the only process that produces an efficient damping. The damping times theoretically predicted by resonant absorption are compatible with those reported in the observations.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Prominence oscillations have been mostly detected using Doppler velocity, although there are also claimed detections by means of the periodic variations of halfwidth or line intensity. Our main aim here is to explore the relationship between spectral indicators such as Doppler shift, line intensity and line halfwidth and the linear perturbations excited in a simple prominence model.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The dispersion of small amplitude, impulsively excited wave trains propagating along a magnetic flux tube is investigated. The initial disturbance is a localized transverse displacement of the tube that excites a fast kink wave packet. The spatial and temporal evolution of the perturbed variables (density, plasma displacement, velocity, ...) is given by an analytical expression containing an integral that is computed numerically. We find that the dispersion of fast kink wave trains is more important for shorter initial disturbances (i.e. more concentrated in the longitudinal direction) and for larger density ratios (i.e. for larger contrasts of the tube density with respect to the environment density). This type of excitation generates a wave train whose signature at a fixed position along a coronal loop is a short event (duration ~ 20 s) in which the velocity and density oscillate very rapidly with typical periods of the order of a few seconds. The oscillatory period is not constant but gradually declines during the course of this event. Peak values of the velocity are of the order of 10 km/s and are accompanied by maximum density variations of the order of 1015% the unperturbed loop density.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Context. Prominence oscillations have been mostly detected using Doppler velocity, although there are also claimed detections by means of periodic variations in halfwidth or line intensity. However, scarce observational evidence exists about simultaneous detection of oscillations in several spectral indicators. Aims. Our main aim here is to explore the relationship between spectral indicators, such as Doppler shift, line intensity, and line halfwidth, and the linear perturbations excited in a simple prominence model. Methods. Our equilibrium background model consists of a bounded, homogeneous slab, which is permeated by a transverse magnetic field, having prominencelike physical properties. Assuming linear perturbations, the dispersion relation for fast and slow modes has been derived, as well as the perturbations for the different physical quantities. These perturbations have been used as the input variables in a onedimensional radiative transfer code, which calculates the full spectral profile of the hydrogen Halpha and Hbeta lines. Results. We have found that different oscillatory modes produce spectral indicator variations in different magnitudes. Detectable variations in the Doppler velocity were found for the fundamental slow mode only. Substantial variations in the Hbeta line intensity were found for specific modes. Other modes lead to lower and even undetectable parameter variations. Conclusions. To perform prominence seismology, analysis of the Halpha and Hbeta spectral line parameters could be a good tool to detect and identify oscillatory modes.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Seismology of coronal loops using observations of damped transverse oscillations in combination with results from theoretical models is a tool to indirectly infer physical parameters in the solar atmospheric plasma. Existing seismology schemes based on approximations to the period and damping time of kink oscillations are often used beyond their theoretical range of applicability. These approximations assume that the variation of density across the loop is confined to a nonuniform layer much thinner than the radius of the loop, but the results of the inversion problem often do not satisfy this preliminary hypothesis. Here, we determine the accuracy of the analytic approximations to the period and damping time, and its impact on seismology estimates, when largely nonuniform loops are considered. We find that the accuracy of the approximations when used beyond their range of applicability is strongly affected by the form of the density profile across the loop, that is observationally unknown and so must be arbitrarily imposed as part of the theoretical model. The error associated with the analytic approximations can be larger than 50% even for relatively thin nonuniform layers. This error directly affects the accuracy of approximate seismology estimates compared to actual numerical inversions. In addition, assuming different density profiles can produce noncoincident intervals of the seismic variables in inversions of the same event. The ignorance about the true shape of density variation across the loop is an important source of error that may dispute the reliability of parameters seismically inferred assuming an ad hoc density profile. 
Article: Dynamics of coronal rain and descending plasma blobs in solar prominences: I. Fully ionised case
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ABSTRACT: Observations of active regions and limb prominences often show cold, dense blobs descending with an acceleration smaller than that of free fall. The dynamics of these condensations falling in the solar corona is investigated in this paper using a simple fully ionised plasma model. We find that the presence of a heavy condensation gives rise to a dynamical rearrangement of the coronal pressure that results in the formation of a large pressure gradient that opposes gravity. Eventually this pressure gradient becomes so large that the blob acceleration vanishes or even points upwards. Then, the blob descent is characterised by an initial acceleration phase followed by an essentially constant velocity phase. These two stages can be identified in published timedistance diagrams of coronal rain events. Both the duration of the first stage and the velocity attained by the blob increase for larger values of the ratio of blob to coronal density, for larger blob mass, and for smaller coronal temperature. Dense blobs are characterised by a detectable density growth (up to 60% in our calculations) and by a steepening of the density in their lower part, that could lead to the formation of a shock. They also emit sound waves that could be detected as small intensity changes with periods of the order of 100 s and lasting between a few and about ten periods. Finally, the curvature of the falling path is only relevant when a very dense blob falls along inclined magnetic field lines.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Solar prominence models used so far in the analysis of MHD waves in such structures are quite elementary. In this work, we calculate numerically magnetohydrostatic models in twodimensional configurations under the presence of gravity. Our interest is in models that connect the magnetic field to the photosphere and include an overlying arcade. The method used here is based on a relaxation process and requires solving the timedependent nonlinear ideal MHD equations. Once a prominence model is obtained, we investigate the properties of MHD waves superimposed on the structure. We concentrate on motions purely twodimensional neglecting propagation in the ignorable direction. We demonstrate how by using different numerical tools we can determine the period of oscillation of stable waves. We find that vertical oscillations, linked to fast MHD waves, are always stable and have periods in the 410 min range. Longitudinal oscillations, related to slow magnetoacousticgravity waves, have longer periods in the range of 2840 min. These longitudinal oscillations are strongly influenced by the gravity force and become unstable for short magnetic arcades.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves are ubiquitously observed in the solar atmosphere. Kink waves are a type of transverse MHD waves in magnetic flux tubes that are damped due to resonant absorption. The theoretical study of kink MHD waves in solar flux tubes is usually based on the simplification that the transverse variation of density is confined to a nonuniform layer much thinner than the radius of the tube, i.e., the socalled thin boundary approximation. Here, we develop a general analytic method to compute the dispersion relation and the eigenfunctions of ideal MHD waves in pressureless flux tubes with transversely nonuniform layers of arbitrary thickness. Results for kink waves are produced and are compared with fully numerical resistive MHD eigenvalue computations in the limit of small resistivity. We find that the frequency and resonant damping rate are the same in both ideal and resistive cases. The actual results for thick nonuniform layers deviate from the behavior predicted in the thin boundary approximation and strongly depend on the shape of the nonuniform layer. The eigenfunctions in ideal MHD are very different from those in resistive MHD. The ideal eigenfunctions display a global character regardless of the thickness of the nonuniform layer, while the resistive eigenfunctions are localized around the resonance and are indistinguishable from those of ordinary resistive Alfv\'en modes. Consequently, the spatial distribution of wave energy in the ideal and resistive cases is dramatically different. This poses a fundamental theoretical problem with clear observational consequences.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Magnetohydrodynamic seismology aims to determine difficult to measure physical parameters in the solar corona by a combination of observed and theoretical properties of waves and oscillations. We describe relevant examples of the application of seismology techniques to transversely oscillating coronal loops and prominence fine structures. We also show how the use of statistical techniques, based on Bayesian inference, can be of high value in the determination of physical parameters in these structures, by consistently taking into account the information from observations.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We investigate the excitation of magnetoacousticgravity waves generated from localized pulses in the gas pressure as well as in vertical component of velocity. These pulses are initially launched at the top of the solar photosphere that is permeated by a weak magnetic field. We investigate three different configurations of the background magnetic field lines: horizontal, vertical and oblique to the gravitational force. We numerically model magnetoacousticgravity waves by implementing a realistic (VALC) model of solar temperature. We solve twodimensional ideal magnetohydrodynamic equations numerically with the use of the FLASH code to simulate the dynamics of the lower solar atmosphere. The initial pulses result in shocks at higher altitudes. Our numerical simulations reveal that a smallamplitude initial pulse can produce magnetoacousticgravity waves, which are later reflected from the transition region due to the large temperature gradient. The atmospheric cavities in the lower solar atmosphere are found to be the ideal places that may act as a resonator for various oscillations, including their trapping and leakage into the higher atmosphere. Our numerical simulations successfully model the excitation of such wave modes, their reflection and trapping, as well as the associated plasma dynamics. 
Article: Prominence Oscillations
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ABSTRACT: Prominences are intriguing, but poorly understood, magnetic structures of the solar corona. The dynamics of solar prominences has been the subject of a large number of studies, and of particular interest is the study of prominence oscillations. Ground and spacebased observations have confirmed the presence of oscillatory motions in prominences and they have been interpreted in terms of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves. This interpretation opens the door to perform prominence seismology, whose main aim is to determine physical parameters in magnetic and plasma structures (prominences) that are difficult to measure by direct means. Here, we review the observational information gathered about prominence oscillations as well as the theoretical models developed to interpret small amplitude oscillations and their temporal and spatial attenuation. Finally, several prominence seismology applications are presented.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Many solar filaments and prominences show shortlived horizontal threads lying parallel to the photosphere. In this work the possible link between RayleighTaylor instabilities and thread lifetimes is investigated. This is done by calculating the eigenmodes of a thread modelled as a Cartesian slab under the presence of gravity. An analytical dispersion relation is derived using the incompressible assumption for the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) perturbations. The system allows a mode that is always stable, independently of the value of the Alfv\'en speed in the thread. The character of this mode varies from being localised at the upper interface of the slab when the magnetic field is weak, to having a global nature and resembling the transverse kink mode when the magnetic field is strong. On the contrary, the slab model permits another mode that is unstable and localised at the lower interface when the magnetic field is weak. The growth rates of this mode can be very short, of the order of minutes for typical thread conditions. This RayleighTaylor unstable mode becomes stable when the magnetic field is increased, and in the limit of strong magnetic field it is essentially a sausage magnetic mode. The gravity force might have a strong effect on the modes of oscillation of threads, depending on the value of the Alfv\'en speed. In the case of threads in quiescent filaments, where the Alfv\'en speed is presumably low, very short lifetimes are expected according to the slab model. In active region prominences, the stabilising effect of the magnetic tension might be enough to suppress the RayleighTaylor instability for a wide range of wavelengths.
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3k  Citations  
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Institutions

19702015

University of the Balearic Islands
 Department of Physics
Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain


1996

University of St Andrews
 School of Mathematics and Statistics
Saint Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom
