EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 449, Number 2, April II 2006
Page(s) 759 - 768
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20054337
A&A 449, 759-768 (2006)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20054337

First high spectral resolution VUV full-Sun spectrum compared to cool stars

Hardi Peter

Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
    e-mail: peter@kis.uni-freiburg.de

(Received 11 October 2005 / Accepted 8 December 2005 )

This paper reports the first full-Sun vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) emission line profile originating from the transition region from the chromosphere to the corona. It is based on a raster scan of the whole solar disk using SUMER/SOHO. The full-Sun spectrum has a spectral resolution which allows an investigation of details in the line profile as well as a thorough comparison to stellar spectra as obtained, e.g. with FUSE or STIS/HST. The full-Sun spectrum shows enhanced emission in the wings, and is well described by a double Gaussian fit with a narrow and a broad component. It is shown that the broad component is due to structures on the solar surface, especially those related to the magnetic chromospheric network. Thus it is proposed that the broad components of other solar-like stars are also a consequence of the mixture of surface structures, and not necessarily a signature of small-scale heating processes like explosive events, as it is commonly argued. A comparison to spectra of luminous cool stars shows that the line asymmetries of these stars might also be a surface structure effect and not or only partly due to opacity effects in their cool dense winds. These comparisons show the potential of high quality full-Sun VUV spectra and their value for the study of solar-stellar connections. As an example, this study proposes that $\alpha$Cen A has a considerably higher amount of magnetic flux concentrated in the chromospheric magnetic network than the Sun.

Key words: stars: coronae -- Sun: corona -- Sun: transition region -- line: profiles -- ultraviolet: stars

© ESO 2006