EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 419, Number 2, May IV 2004
Page(s) 747 - 756
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20034159

A&A 419, 747-756 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20034159

Millimeter observations and chromospheric dynamics

M. Loukitcheva1, 2, S. K. Solanki1, M. Carlsson3 and R. F. Stein4

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
2  Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg University, 198504 St. Petersburg, Russia
3  Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, PO Box 1029, Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
4  Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA

(Received 5 August 2003 / Accepted 4 February 2004 )

The intensities of submillimeter and millimeter continua, which are formed in LTE and depend linearly on temperature, may be able to provide a test of models of the Solar chromosphere. We have taken a collection of submillimeter and millimeter wave observed brightness temperatures $T_{\rm b}$ of the quiet Sun from the literature and compared it with brightness temperatures computed from the standard static models of Fontenla, Avrett and Loeser (FAL) and the dynamic simulations of Carlsson & Stein (CS). The analysis of the dynamic simulations of Carlsson & Stein reveals that radio emission at millimeter wavelengths is extremely sensitive to dynamic processes in the chromosphere, if these are spatially and temporally resolved. The most striking result is that the dynamic picture of the solar internetwork chromosphere is consistent with currently available millimeter and submillimeter brightness observations. The spectrum obtained by averaging over the spectra from all time-steps of CS simulations provides a good fit to observed temporally and spatially averaged millimeter data in spite of the absence of a permanent temperature rise at low chromospheric heights in the simulations. This does not by itself rule out the presence of a chromospheric temperature rise as present in the FAL models, since a combination of such models also reproduces the (low resolution) data relatively well. Millimeter observations indicate that using radio techniques it is possible to extend observations of the solar oscillatory component to the heights above those previously observed in the photospheric and low chromospheric spectral lines and submillimeter continuum. For more precise diagnostics of chromospheric dynamics, high temporal and spatial resolution interferometric observations in the millimeter-wavelength region would be particularly useful.

Key words: Sun: chromosphere -- Sun: oscillations -- Sun: radio radiation

Offprint request: M. Loukitcheva, marija@peterlink.ru

© ESO 2004