Giant quiescent solar filament observed with high-resolution spectroscopy
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP),
An der Sternwarte 16,
Received: 29 May 2015
Accepted: 6 March 2016
Aims. An extremely large filament was studied in various layers of the solar atmosphere. The inferred physical parameters and the morphological aspects are compared with smaller quiescent filaments.
Methods. A giant quiet-Sun filament was observed with the high-resolution Echelle spectrograph at the Vacuum Tower Telescope at Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife, Spain, on 2011 November 15. A mosaic of spectra (ten maps of 100″ × 182″) was recorded simultaneously in the chromospheric absorption lines Hα and Na i D2. Physical parameters of the filament plasma were derived using cloud model (CM) inversions and line core fits. The spectra were complemented with full-disk filtergrams (He i λ10830 Å, Hα, and Ca ii K) of the Chromospheric Telescope (ChroTel) and full-disk magnetograms of the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI).
Results. The filament had extremely large linear dimensions (~817 arcsec), which corresponds to about 658 Mm along a great circle on the solar surface. A total amount of 175119 Hα contrast profiles were inverted using the CM approach. The inferred mean line-of-sight (LOS) velocity, Doppler width, and source function were similar to previous works of smaller quiescent filaments. However, the derived optical thickness was higher. LOS velocity trends inferred from the Hα line core fits were in accord but weaker than those obtained with CM inversions. Signatures of counter-streaming flows were detected in the filament. The largest brightening conglomerates in the line core of Na i D2 coincided well with small-scale magnetic fields as seen by HMI. Mixed magnetic polarities were detected close to the ends of barbs. The computation of photospheric horizontal flows based on HMI magnetograms revealed flow kernels with a size of 5–8 Mm and velocities of 0.30–0.45 km s-1 at the ends of the filament.
Conclusions. The physical properties of extremely large filaments are similar to their smaller counterparts, except for the optical thickness, which in our sample was found to be higher. We found that a part of the filament, which erupted the day before, is in the process of reestablishing its initial configuration.
Key words: Sun: filaments, prominences / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: activity / Sun: magnetic fields / methods: data analysis / techniques: spectroscopic
© ESO, 2016