Observations of solar chromospheric heating at sub-arcsec spatial resolution⋆
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 446-701, Republic of Korea
Accepted: 3 July 2018
A wide variety of phenomena such as gentle but persistent brightening, dynamic slender features (∼100 km), and compact (∼1″) ultraviolet (UV) bursts are associated with the heating of the solar chromosphere. High spatio-temporal resolution is required to capture the finer details of the likely magnetic reconnection-driven, rapidly evolving bursts. Such observations are also needed to reveal their similarities to large-scale flares, which are also thought to be reconnection driven, and more generally their role in chromospheric heating. Here we report observations of chromospheric heating in the form of a UV burst obtained with the balloon-borne observatory SUNRISE. The observed burst displayed a spatial morphology similar to that of a large-scale solar flare with a circular ribbon. While the co-temporal UV observations at 1.5″ spatial resolution and 24 s cadence from the Solar Dynamics Observatory showed a compact brightening, the SUNRISE observations at diffraction-limited spatial resolution of 0.1″ at 7 s cadence revealed a dynamic substructure of the burst that it is composed of an extended ribbon-like feature and a rapidly evolving arcade of thin (∼0.1″) magnetic loop-like features, similar to post-flare loops. Such a dynamic substructure reveals the small-scale nature of chromospheric heating in these bursts. Furthermore, based on magnetic field extrapolations, this heating event is associated with a complex fan-spine magnetic topology. Our observations strongly hint at a unified picture of magnetic heating in the solar atmosphere from some large-scale flares to small-scale bursts, all associated with such a magnetic topology.
Key words: Sun: atmosphere / Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: photosphere / Sun: chromosphere / magnetic reconnection
The movie associated to Fig. 2 is available at https://www.aanda.org/
© ESO 2018