Volume 563, March 2014
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||27 February 2014|
Long-period intensity pulsations in the solar corona during activity cycle 23⋆
Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Bâtiment 121, Univ. Paris-Sud –
Accepted: 8 November 2013
We report on the detection (10σ) of 917 events of long-period (3 to 16 h) intensity pulsations in the 19.5 nm passband of the SOHO Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. The data set spans from January 1997 to July 2010, i.e. the entire solar cycle 23 and the beginning of cycle 24. The events can last for up to six days and have relative amplitudes up to 100%. About half of the events (54%) are found to happen in active regions, and 50% of these have been visually associated with coronal loops. The remaining 46% are localized in the quiet Sun. We performed a comprehensive analysis of the possible instrumental artefacts and we conclude that the observed signal is of solar origin. We discuss several scenarios that could explain the main characteristics of the active region events. The long periods and the amplitudes observed rule out any explanation in terms of magnetohydrodynamic waves. Thermal non-equilibrium could produce the right periods, but it fails to explain all the observed properties of coronal loops and the spatial coherence of the events. We propose that moderate temporal variations of the heating term in the energy equation, so as to avoid a thermal non-equilibrium state, could be sufficient to explain those long-period intensity pulsations. The large number of detections suggests that these pulsations are common in active regions. This would imply that the measurement of their properties could provide new constraints on the heating mechanisms of coronal loops.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: UV radiation / Sun: oscillations
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© ESO, 2014
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