Letters to the Editor
Propagating intensity disturbances in polar corona as seen from AIA/SDO⋆
S. Krishna Prasad1, D. Banerjee1 and G. R. Gupta1,2
Indian Institute of Astrophysics,
2 Joint Astronomy Programme, Indian Institute of Science, 560012 Bangalore, India
Accepted: 4 February 2011
Context. Polar corona is often explored to find the energy source for the acceleration of the fast solar wind. Earlier observations show omni-presence of quasi-periodic disturbances, traveling outward, which is believed to be caused by the ubiquitous presence of outward propagating waves. These waves, mostly of compressional type, might provide the additional momentum and heat required for the fast solar wind acceleration. It has been conjectured that these disturbances are not due to waves but high speed plasma outflows, which are difficult to distinguish using the current available techniques.
Aims. With the unprecedented high spatial and temporal resolution of AIA/SDO, we search for these quasi-periodic disturbances in both plume and interplume regions of the polar corona. We investigate their nature of propagation and search for a plausible interpretation. We also aim to study their multi-thermal nature by using three different coronal passbands of AIA.
Methods. We chose several clean plume and interplume structures and studied the time evolution of specific channels by making artificial slits along them. Taking the average across the slits, space-time maps are constructed and then filtration techniques are applied to amplify the low-amplitude oscillations. To suppress the effect of fainter jets, we chose wider slits than usual.
Results. In almost all the locations chosen, in both plume and interplume regions we find the presence of propagating quasi-periodic disturbances, of periodicities ranging from 10–30 min. These are clearly seen in two channels and in a few cases out to very large distances (≈250″) off-limb, almost to the edge of the AIA field of view. The propagation speeds are in the range of 100–170 km s-1. The average speeds are different for different passbands and higher in interplume regions.
Conclusions. Propagating disturbances are observed, even after removing the effects of jets and are insensitive to changes in slit width. This indicates that a coherent mechanism is involved. In addition, the observed propagation speed varies between the different passpands, implying that these quasi-periodic intensity disturbances are possibly due to magneto-acoustic waves. The propagation speeds in interplume region are higher than in the plume region.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: oscillations / Sun: UV radiation / Sun: transition region / waves
Figures 4 and 5 and movies are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2011