Counter-streaming flows in a giant quiet-Sun filament observed in the extreme ultraviolet★
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam,
An der Sternwarte 16,
2 Universität Potsdam, Institut für Physik und Astronomie, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24/25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
Accepted: 18 December 2017
Aim. The giant solar filament was visible on the solar surface from 2011 November 8–23. Multiwavelength data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) were used to examine counter-streaming flows within the spine of the filament.
Methods. We use data from two SDO instruments, the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI), covering the whole filament, which stretched over more than half a solar diameter. Hα images from the Kanzelhöhe Solar Observatory (KSO) provide context information of where the spine of the filament is defined and the barbs are located. We apply local correlation tracking (LCT) to a two-hour time series on 2011 November 16 of the AIA images to derive horizontal flow velocities of the filament. To enhance the contrast of the AIA images, noise adaptive fuzzy equalization (NAFE) is employed, which allows us to identify and quantify counter-streaming flows in the filament. We observe the same cool filament plasma in absorption in both Hα and EUV images. Hence, the counter-streaming flows are directly related to this filament material in the spine. In addition, we use directional flow maps to highlight the counter-streaming flows.
Results. We detect counter-streaming flows in the filament, which are visible in the time-lapse movies in all four examined AIA wavelength bands (λ171 Å, λ193 Å, λ304 Å, and λ211 Å). In the time-lapse movies we see that these persistent flows lasted for at least two hours, although they became less prominent towards the end of the time series. Furthermore, by applying LCT to the images we clearly determine counter-streaming flows in time series of λ171 Å and λ193 Å images. In the λ304 Å wavelength band, we only see minor indications for counter-streaming flows with LCT, while in the λ211 Å wavelength band the counter-streaming flows are not detectable with this method. The diverse morphology of the filament in Hα and EUV images is caused by different absorption processes, i.e., spectral line absorption and absorption by hydrogen and helium continua, respectively. The horizontal flows reach mean flow speeds of about 0.5 km s−1 for all wavelength bands. The highest horizontal flow speeds are identified in the λ171 Å band with flow speeds of up to 2.5 km s−1. The results are averaged over a time series of 90 minutes. Because the LCT sampling window has finite width, a spatial degradation cannot be avoided leading to lower estimates of the flow velocities as compared to feature tracking or Doppler measurements. The counter-streaming flows cover about 15–20% of the whole area of the EUV filament channel and are located in the central part of the spine.
Conclusions. Compared to the ground-based observations, the absence of seeing effects in AIA observations reveal counter-streaming flows in the filament even with a moderate image scale of 0. ′′6 pixel−1. Using a contrast enhancement technique, these flows can be detected and quantified with LCT in different wavelengths. We confirm the omnipresence of counter-streaming flows also in giant quiet-Sun filaments.
Key words: methods: observational / Sun: filaments, prominences / Sun: activity / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: corona / techniques: image processing
A movie associated to Fig. 6 is available at https://www.aanda.org
© ESO 2018