The EUV spectrum of the Sun: SOHO CDS NIS radiances during solar cycle 23
INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Salita Moiariello, 16, 80131
2 DAMTP, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA, UK
Received: 14 October 2013
Accepted: 4 December 2013
For the first time, we present and discuss EUV radiances of the solar transition region (TR) and corona obtained during a solar cycle. The measurements were obtained with the SOHO/coronal diagnostic spectrometer (CDS) during the period from 1996 to 2010. We find that limb-brightening significantly affects any characterisation of the solar radiances. We present the limb-brightening function for the main lines and find that it does not change measurably during the cycle. We confirm earlier findings that the radiance histogram of the cooler lines have a well defined, log-normal quiet-Sun component, although our results differ from previous ones. The width of the lowest-radiance log-normal distribution is constant along the cycle. Both the analysis of the centre-to-limb variation and of the radiance statistical distribution point to a constant quiet Sun emission along solar cycle 23. Lines formed above 1 MK are dramatically affected by the presence of active regions, and indeed, no “quiet Sun” region can be defined during periods of maximum activity. Much of the irradiance variability in lines formed below 1.5 MK is due to a change in the emitting area. For hotter lines, the emitting area saturates to almost 100% of full solar disk at the maximum of activity, while simultaneously the emission due to active regions increases by more than an order of magnitude. We show that structures around active regions, sometimes referred to as dark halos or dark canopies, are common and discuss their similarities and differences with coronal holes. In particular, we show how they are well visible in TR lines, contrary to coronal holes.
Key words: Sun: chromosphere / Sun: transition region / Sun: corona / Sun: UV radiation
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