Coronal hole boundaries evolution at small scales*
I. EIT 195 Å and TRACE 171 Å view
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Max-Planck-Str. 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
2 Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, N. Ireland e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 4 June 2009
Aims. We aim to study the small-scale evolution at the boundaries of an equatorial coronal hole connected with a channel of open magnetic flux to the polar region and an “isolated” one in the extreme-ultraviolet spectral range. We determine the spatial and temporal scale of these changes.
Methods. Imager data from TRACE in the Fe ix/x 171 Å passband and EIT on-board Solar and Heliospheric Observatory in the Fe xii 195 Å passband were analysed.
Results. We found that small-scale loops known as bright points play an essential role in coronal hole boundary evolution at small scales. Their emergence and disappearance continuously expand or contract coronal holes. The changes appear to be random on a time scale comparable to the lifetime of the loops seen at these temperatures. No signature was found for a major energy release during the evolution of the loops.
Conclusions. Although coronal holes seem to maintain their general shape during a few solar rotations, a closer look at their day-by-day and even hour-by-hour evolution demonstrates significant dynamics. The small-scale loops (10´´-40´´ and smaller) which are abundant along coronal hole boundaries contribute to the small-scale evolution of coronal holes. Continuous magnetic reconnection of the open magnetic field lines of the coronal hole and the closed field lines of the loops in the quiet Sun is more likely to take place.
Key words: Sun: atmosphere / Sun: corona / methods: observational / methods: data analysis
© ESO, 2009