Seismology of contracting and expanding coronal loops using damping of kink oscillations by mode coupling
1 Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Warwick, CV4 7AL, UK
2 Division of Mathematics, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK
3 Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics SB RAS, Lermontov St. 126, Irkutsk 664033, Russia
4 SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK
Received: 2 April 2017
Accepted: 11 August 2017
Aims. We extend recently developed seismological methods to analyse oscillating loops which feature a large initial shift in the equilibrium position and investigate additional observational signatures related to the loop environment and oscillation driver.
Methods. We model the motion of coronal loops as a kink oscillation damped by mode coupling, accounting for any change in loop length and the possible presence of parallel harmonics in addition to the fundamental mode. We apply our model to a loop which rapidly contracts due to a post-flare implosion (SOL2012-03-09) and a loop with a large lateral displacement (SOL2012-10-20).
Results. The seismological method is used to calculate plasma parameters of the oscillating loops including the transverse density profile, magnetic field strength, and phase mixing timescale. For SOL2012-03-09 the period of oscillation has a linear correlation with the contracting motion and suggests the kink speed remains constant during the oscillation. The implosion excitation mechanism is found to be associated with an absence of additional parallel harmonics.
Conclusions. The improved Bayesian analysis of the coronal loop motion allows for accurate seismology of plasma parameters, and the evolution of the period of oscillation compared with the background trend can be used to distinguish between loop motions in the plane of the loop and those perpendicular to it. The seismologically inferred kink speed and density contrast imply sub-Alfvénic (MA = 0.16 ± 0.03) propagation of the magnetic reconfiguration associated with the implosion, as opposed to triggering by a wave propagating at the Alfvén speed.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / Sun: atmosphere / Sun: corona / Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: oscillations / waves
© ESO, 2017