Open questions on prominences from coordinated observations by IRIS, Hinode, SDO/AIA, THEMIS, and the Meudon/MSDP⋆
1 Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon, LESIA, 75014 Paris, France
2 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3 NASA, GSFC, MD, USA
4 THEMIS, CNRS, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Received: 1 April 2014
Accepted: 18 June 2014
Context. A large prominence was observed by multiple instruments on the ground and in space during an international campaign on September 24, 2013, for three hours (12:12 UT –15:12 UT). Instruments used in the campaign included the newly launched (June 2013) Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), THEMIS (Tenerife), the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope (SOT), the Solar Dynamic Observatory’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (SDO/AIA), and the Multichannel Subtractive Double Pass spectrograph (MSDP) in the Meudon Solar Tower. The movies obtained in 304 Å with the EUV imager SDO/AIA, and in Ca II line by SOT show the dynamic nature of the prominence.
Aims. The aim of this work is to study the dynamics of the prominence fine structures in multiple wavelengths to understand their formation.
Methods. The spectrographs IRIS and MSDP provided line profiles with a high cadence in Mg II h (2803.5 Å) and k (2796.4 Å) lines along four slit positions (IRIS), and in Hα in a 2D field of view (MSDP). The spectropolarimetry of THEMIS (Tenerife) allowed us to derive the magnetic field of the prominence using the He D3 line depolarization (Hanle effect combined with the Zeeman effect).
Results. The magnetic field is found to be globally horizontal with a relatively weak field strength (8–15 Gauss). On the other hand, the Ca II movie reveals turbulent-like motion that is not organized in specific parts of the prominence. We tested the addition of a turbulent magnetic component. This model is compatible with the polarimetric observations at those places where the plasma turbulence peaks. On the other hand, the Mg II line profiles show multiple peaks well separated in wavelength. This is interpreted by the existence of small threads along the line of sight with a large dispersion of discrete values of Doppler shifts, from 5 km s-1 (a quasi-steady component) to 60–80 km s-1. Each peak corresponds to a Gaussian profile, and not to a reversed profile as was expected by the present non-LTE radiative transfer modeling. This is a very surprising behavior for the Mg II line observed in prominences.
Conclusions. Turbulent fields on top of the macroscopic horizontal component of the magnetic field supporting the prominence give rise to the complex dynamics of the plasma. The plasma with the high velocities (70 km s-1 to 100 km s-1 if we take into account the transverse velocities) may correspond to condensation of plasma along more or less horizontal threads of the arch-shape structure visible in 304 Å. The steady flows (5 km s-1) would correspond to a more quiescent plasma (cool and prominence-corona transition region) of the prominence packed into dips in horizontal magnetic field lines. The very weak secondary peaks in the Mg II profiles may reflect the turbulent nature of parts of the prominence.
Key words: Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: filaments, prominences / Sun: transition region
Movies are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2014