First analysis of solar structures in 1.21 mm full-disc ALMA image of the Sun
Hvar Observatory, Faculty of Geodesy,
Kačićeva 26, University of Zagreb,
2 University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Bahnhofstrasse 6, 5210 Windisch, Switzerland
3 Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Fričova 298, 25165 Ondřejov, Czech Republic
4 Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory, 3251 Hanover Street, Org. A021S, B. 252, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
5 Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Daejeon, Republic of Korea
6 Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research (CSPAR), University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35805, USA
7 ETH: Institute for Particle Physics, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
8 National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
9 Department of Astronomical Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
10 Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Postboks 1029, Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
11 Space Vehicles Directorate, AFRL, 3550 Aberdeen Avenue SE, Bldg 427, Kirtland AFB, NM 87117-5776, USA
12 European Southern Observatory (ESO), Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
13 NAO, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PR China
Context. Various solar features can be seen in emission or absorption on maps of the Sun in the millimetre and submillimetre wavelength range. The recently installed Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) is capable of observing the Sun in that wavelength range with an unprecedented spatial, temporal and spectral resolution. To interpret solar observations with ALMA, the first important step is to compare solar ALMA maps with simultaneous images of the Sun recorded in other spectral ranges.
Aims. The first aim of the present work is to identify different structures in the solar atmosphere seen in the optical, infrared, and EUV parts of the spectrum (quiet Sun, active regions, prominences on the disc, magnetic inversion lines, coronal holes and coronal bright points) in a full-disc solar ALMA image. The second aim is to measure the intensities (brightness temperatures) of those structures and to compare them with the corresponding quiet Sun level.
Methods. A full-disc solar image at 1.21 mm obtained on December 18, 2015, during a CSV-EOC campaign with ALMA is calibrated and compared with full-disc solar images from the same day in Hα line, in He I 1083 nm line core, and with various SDO images (AIA at 170 nm, 30.4 nm, 21.1 nm, 19.3 nm, and 17.1 nm and HMI magnetogram). The brightness temperatures of various structures are determined by averaging over corresponding regions of interest in the calibrated ALMA image.
Results. Positions of the quiet Sun, active regions, prominences on the disc, magnetic inversion lines, coronal holes and coronal bright points are identified in the ALMA image. At the wavelength of 1.21 mm, active regions appear as bright areas (but sunspots are dark), while prominences on the disc and coronal holes are not discernible from the quiet Sun background, despite having slightly less intensity than surrounding quiet Sun regions. Magnetic inversion lines appear as large, elongated dark structures and coronal bright points correspond to ALMA bright points.
Conclusions. These observational results are in general agreement with sparse earlier measurements at similar wavelengths. The identification of coronal bright points represents the most important new result. By comparing ALMA and other maps, it was found that the ALMA image was oriented properly and that the procedure of overlaying the ALMA image with other images is accurate at the 5 arcsec level. The potential of ALMA for physics of the solar chromosphere is emphasised.
Key words: Sun: radio radiation / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: transition region / Sun: corona
© ESO 2018