Radiative transfer in cylindrical threads with incident radiation
VII. Multi-thread models
SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of
Received: 5 July 2015
Accepted: 22 December 2015
Aims. Our aim is to improve on previous radiative transfer calculations in illuminated cylindrical threads to better understand the physical conditions in cool solar chromospheric and coronal structures commonly observed in hydrogen and helium lines.
Methods. We solved the radiative transfer and statistical equilibrium equations in a two-dimensional cross-section of a cylindrical structure oriented horizontally and lying above the solar surface. The cylinder is filled with a mixture of hydrogen and helium and is illuminated at a given altitude from the solar disc. We constructed simple models made from a single thread or from an ensemble of several threads along the line of sight. This first use of two-dimensional, multi-thread fine structure modelling combining hydrogen and helium radiative transfer allowed us to compute synthetic emergent spectra from cylindrical structures and to study the effect of line-of-sight integration of an ensemble of threads under a range of physical conditions. We analysed the effects of variations in temperature distribution and in gas pressure. We considered the effect of multi-thread structures within a given field of view and the effect of peculiar velocities between the structures in a multi-thread model. We compared these new models to the single thread model and tested them with varying parameters.
Results. The presence of a temperature gradient, with temperature increasing towards the edge of the cylindrical thread, reduces the relative importance of the incident radiation coming from the solar disc on the emergent intensities of most hydrogen and helium lines. We also find that when assuming randomly displaced threads in a given field of view, the integrated intensities of optically thick and thin transitions behave considerably differently. In optically thin lines, the emergent intensity increases proportionally with the number of threads, and the spatial variation of the intensity becomes increasingly homogeneous. Optically thick lines, however, saturate after only a few threads. As a consequence, the spatial variation of the intensity retains much similarity with that of the first few threads. The multi-thread model produces complex line profiles with significant asymmetries if randomly generated line-of-sight velocities are added for each thread.
Conclusions. These new computations show, for the first time, the effect of integrating the radiation emitted in H and He lines by several cylindrical threads that are static or moving along the line of sight. They can be used to interpret high-spatial and spectral resolutions of cylindrical structures found in the solar atmosphere, such as cool coronal loops or prominence threads.
Key words: radiative transfer / line: formation / line: profiles / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: corona
© ESO, 2016
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.