Steps towards a high precision solar rotation profile: Results from SDO/AIA coronal bright point data
1 Hvar Observatory, Faculty of Geodesy, University of Zagreb, Kačićeva 26, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2 Cybrotech Ltd, Bohinjska 11, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Received: 5 September 2014
Accepted: 23 December 2014
Context. Coronal bright points (CBP) are ubiquitous small brightenings in the solar corona associated with small magnetic bipoles.
Aims. We derive the solar differential rotation profile by tracing the motions of CBPs detected by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). We also investigate problems related to the detection of CBPs resulting from instrument and detection algorithm limitations.
Methods. To determine the positions and identification of CBPs we used a segmentation algorithm. A linear fit of their central meridian distance and latitude vs time was used to derive velocities.
Results. We obtained 906 velocity measurements in a time interval of only 2 days. The differential rotation profile can be expressed as ωrot = (14.◦47 ± 0.◦10 + (0.◦6 ± 1.◦0) sin2(b) = (-4.◦7 ± 1.◦7) sin4(b)) d-1. Our result is in agreement with other work and it comes with reasonable errors in spite of the very short time interval used. This was made possible by the higher sensitivity and resolution of the AIA instrument compared to similar equipment as well as high cadence. The segmentation algorithm also played a crucial role by detecting so many CBPs, which reduced the errors to a reasonable level.
Conclusions. Data and methods presented in this paper show a great potential for obtaining very accurate velocity profiles, both for rotation and meridional motion and, consequently, Reynolds stresses. The amount of CBP data that could be obtained from this instrument should also provide a great opportunity to study changes of velocity patterns with a temporal resolution of only a few months. Other possibilities are studies of evolution of CBPs and proper motions of magnetic elements on the Sun.
Key words: Sun: rotation / Sun: corona / Sun: activity
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