Volume 534, October 2011
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||11 October 2011|
The quiet Sun average Doppler shift of coronal lines up to 2 MK
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
2 Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
3 School of Space Research Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi-Do, 446-701, Korea
Received: 11 May 2011
Accepted: 3 August 2011
Context. The average Doppler shift shown by spectral lines formed from the chromosphere to the corona reveals important information on the mass and energy balance of the solar atmosphere, providing an important observational constraint to any models of the solar corona. Previous spectroscopic observations of vacuum ultra-violet (VUV) lines have revealed a persistent average wavelength shift of lines formed at temperatures up to 1 MK. At higher temperatures, the behaviour is still essentially unknown.
Aims. Here we analyse combined SUMER (Solar Ultraviolet Measurements of Emitted Radiation)/SoHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) and EIS (EUV Imaging Spectrometer)/Hinode observations of the quiet Sun around disk centre to determine, for the first time, the average Doppler shift of several spectral lines formed between 1 and 2 MK, where the largest part of the quiet coronal emission is formed.
Methods. The measurements are based on a novel technique applied to EIS spectra to measure the difference in Doppler shift between lines formed at different temperatures. Simultaneous wavelength-calibrated SUMER spectra allow establishing the absolute value at the reference temperature of T ≈ 1 MK.
Results. The average line shifts at 1 MK < T < 1.8 MK are modestly, but clearly bluer than those observed at 1 MK. By accepting an average blue shift of about (−1.8 ± 0.6) km s-1 at 1 MK (as provided by SUMER measurements), this translates into a maximum Doppler shift of (−4.4 ± 2.2) km s-1 around 1.8 MK. The measured value appears to decrease to about (−1.3 ± 2.6) km s-1 at the Fe xv formation temperature of 2.1 MK.
Conclusions. The measured average Doppler shift between 0.01 and 2.1 MK, for which we provide a parametrisation, appears to be qualitatively and roughly quantitatively consistent with what foreseen by 3D coronal models where heating is produced by dissipation of currents induced by photospheric motions and by reconnection with emerging magnetic flux.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: transition region / Sun: UV radiation
© ESO, 2011
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