Letter to the Editor
Seismological demonstration of perpendicular density structuring in the solar corona
Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Physics Department, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK e-mail: [t.van-doorsselaere;c.s.brady;v.nakariakov;erwin.verwichte]@warwick.ac.uk
Accepted: 18 September 2008
The peculiarities of the propagating transverse waves observed in the solar corona with the Coronal Multi-channel Polarimeter (CoMP) indicate the existence of fine field structuring in the coronal density. We present results of numerical simulations studying the evolution of a localised transverse magneto-hydrodynamic wave in a uniform magnetic field. We consider two initial low plasma-beta equilibria: one with a homogeneous density, and one with a field-aligned dense structure (such as a loop or a plume). The perpendicular localisation of the wave strongly determines the angular distribution of the energy propagation. If the perpendicular scale of the wave is significantly smaller than the parallel scale (e.g. wavelength), as established by CoMP, the wave develops as an oblique fast magneto-acoustic wave. In an unstructured medium, the energy of such a wave is transferred mainly across the magnetic field. However, it is possible to channel the energy of the transverse wave along the magnetic field in the presence of a field-aligned density enhancement. We conclude that the CoMP results provide an independent seismological proof that the corona is structured in density in the perpendicular direction.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: oscillations / Sun: magnetic fields
© ESO, 2008