Convective blueshifts in the solar atmosphere
III. High-accuracy observations of spectral lines in the visible⋆
Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstr. 6, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
2 High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, 3080 Center Green Drive, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik, Hans-Kopfermann-Strasse 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
4 Menlo Systems GmbH, Am Klopferspitz 19, 82152 Martinsried, Germany
Accepted: 22 January 2019
Context. Convective motions in the solar atmosphere cause spectral lines to become asymmetric and shifted in wavelength. For photospheric lines, this differential Doppler shift varies from the solar disk center to the limb.
Aims. Precise and comprehensive observations of the convective blueshift and its center-to-limb variation improve our understanding of the atmospheric hydrodynamics and ensuing line formation, and provide the basis to refine 3D models of the solar atmosphere.
Methods. We performed systematical spectroscopic measurements of the convective blueshift of the quiet Sun with the Laser Absolute Reference Spectrograph (LARS) at the German Vacuum Tower Telescope. The spatial scanning of the solar disk covered 11 heliocentric positions each along four radial (meridional and equatorial) axes. The high-resolution spectra of 26 photospheric to chromospheric lines in the visible range were calibrated with a laser frequency comb to absolute wavelengths at the 1 m s−1 accuracy. Applying ephemeris and reference corrections, the bisector analysis provided line asymmetries and Doppler shifts with an uncertainty of only few m s−1. To allow for a comparison with other observations, we convolved the results to lower spectral resolutions.
Results. All spectral line bisectors exhibit a systematic center-to-limb variation. Typically, a blueshifted “C”-shaped curve at disk center transforms into a less blueshifted “\”-shape toward the solar limb. The comparison of all lines reveals the systematic dependence of the convective blueshift on the line depth. The blueshift of the line minima describe a linear decrease with increasing line depths. The slope of the center-to-limb variation develops a reversal point at heliocentric positions between μ = 0.7 and 0.85, seen as the effect of horizontal granular flows in the mid photosphere. Line minima formed in the upper photosphere to chromosphere exhibit hardly any blueshift or even a slight redshift. Synthetic models yield considerable deviations from the observed center-to-limb variation.
Conclusions. The obtained Doppler shifts of the quiet Sun can serve as an absolute reference for other observations, the relative calibration of Dopplergrams, and the necessary refinement of atmospheric models. Based on this, the development of high-precision models of stellar surface convection will advance the detection of (potentially habitable) exoplanets by radial velocity measurements.
Key words: convection / Sun: atmosphere / Sun: activity / methods: observational / techniques: spectroscopic / line: profiles
The reduced spectra are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/624/A57
© ESO 2019