Observations and NLTE modeling of Ellerman bombs
Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech
2 Astronomical Institute, University of Wrocław, 51-622 Wrocław, Poland
Received: 12 December 2013
Accepted: 18 March 2014
Context. Ellerman bombs (EBs) are short-lived, compact, and spatially well localized emission structures that are observed well in the wings of the hydrogen Hα line. EBs are also observed in the chromospheric CaII lines and in UV continua as bright points located within active regions. Hα line profiles of EBs show a deep absorption at the line center and enhanced emission in the line wings with maxima around ±1 Å from the line center. Similar shapes of the line profiles are observed for the CaII IR line at 8542 Å. In CaII H and K lines the emission peaks are much stronger, and EBs emission is also enhanced in the line center.
Aims. It is generally accepted that EBs may be considered as compact microflares located in lower solar atmosphere that contribute to the heating of these low-lying regions, close to the temperature minimum of the atmosphere. However, it is still not clear where exactly the emission of EBs is formed in the solar atmosphere. High-resolution spectrophotometric observations of EBs were used for determining of their physical parameters and construction of semi-empirical models. Obtained models allow us to determine the position of EBs in the solar atmosphere, as well as the vertical structure of the activated EB atmosphere
Methods. In our analysis we used observations of EBs obtained in the Hα and CaII H lines with the Dutch Open Telescope (DOT). These one-hour long simultaneous sequences obtained with high temporal and spatial resolution were used to determine the line emissions. To analyze them, we used NLTE numerical codes for the construction of grids of 243 semi-empirical models simulating EBs structures. In this way, the observed emission could be compared with the synthetic line spectra calculated for all such models.
Results. For a specific model we found reasonable agreement between the observed and theoretical emission and thus we consider such model as a good approximation to EBs atmospheres. This model is characterized by an enhanced temperature in the lower chromosphere and can be considered as a compact structure (hot spot), which is responsible for the emission observed in the wings of chromospheric lines, in particular in the Hα and CaII H lines.
Conclusions. For the first time the set of two lines Hα and CaII H was used to construct semi–empirical models of EBs. Our analysis shows that EBs can be described by a “hot spot” model, with the temperature and/or density increase through a few hundred km atmospheric structure. We confirmed that EBs are located close to the temperature minimum or in the lower chromosphere. Two spectral features (lines in our case), observed simultaneously, significantly strengthen the constraints on a realistic model.
Key words: Sun: chromosphere / line: profiles / techniques: imaging spectroscopy / radiative transfer
© ESO, 2014