Soft X-ray coronal spectra at low activity levels observed by RESIK
Space Research Center, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Kopernika 11, 51-622 Wrocław, Poland e-mail: [bs;js]@cbk.pan.wroc.pl
2 UCL-Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 1 February 2010
Context. The quiet-Sun X-ray emission is important for deducing coronal heating mechanisms, but it has not been studied in detail since the Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO) spacecraft era. Bragg crystal spectrometer X-ray observations have generally concentrated on flares and active regions. The high sensitivity of the RESIK (REntgenovsky Spectrometer s Izognutymi Kristalami) instrument on the CORONAS-F solar mission has enabled the X-ray emission from the quiet corona to be studied in a systematic way for the first time.
Aims. Our aim is to deduce the physical conditions of the non-flaring corona from RESIK line intensities in several spectral ranges using both isothermal and multithermal assumptions.
Methods. We selected and analyzed spectra in 312 quiet-Sun intervals in January and February 2003, sorting them into 5 groups according to activity level. For each group, the fluxes in selected spectral bands have been used to calculate values of parameters for the best-fit that leads to intensities characteristic of each group. We used both isothermal and multitemperature assumptions, the latter described by differential emission measure (DEM) distributions. RESIK spectra cover the wavelength range (3.3–6.1 Å). This includes emission lines of highly ionized Si, S, Cl, Ar, and K, which are suitable for evaluating temperature and emission measure, were used.
Results. The RESIK spectra during these intervals of very low solar activity for the first time provide information on the temperature structure of the quiet corona. Although most of the emission seems to arise from plasma with a temperature between 2 MK and 3 MK, there is also evidence of a hotter plasma (T ~ 10 MK) with an emission measure 3 orders smaller than the cooler component. Neither coronal nor photospheric element abundances appear to describe the observed spectra satisfactorily.
Key words: Sun: X-rays, gamma rays / Sun: abundances / Sun: corona
© ESO, 2010