Volume 653, September 2021
|Number of page(s)||28|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||15 September 2021|
Spectro-imagery of an active tornado-like prominence: Formation and evolution⋆
PMOD/WRC, Dorfstrasse 33, 7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
2 ETH-Zurich, Hönggerberg campus, HIT building, Zürich, Switzerland
3 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Université PSL, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Université Paris-Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
4 SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK
5 KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Accepted: 31 May 2021
Context. The dynamical nature of fine structures in prominences remains an open issue, including rotating flows in tornado prominences. While the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly imager aboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory allowed us to follow the global structure of a tornado-like prominence for five hours, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, and the Multichannel Subtractive Double Pass spectrograph permitted to obtain plasma diagnostics of its fine structures.
Aims. We aim to address two questions. Firstly, is the observed plasma rotation conceptually acceptable in a flux rope magnetic support configuration with dips? Secondly, how is the plasma density distributed in the tornado-like prominence?
Methods. We calculated line-of-sight velocities and non-thermal line widths using Gaussian fitting for Mg II lines and the bisector method for Hα line. We determined the electron density from Mg II line integrated intensities and profile fitting methods using 1D non-LTE radiative transfer theory models.
Results. The global structure of the prominence observed in Hα, and Mg II h, and k line fits with a magnetic field structure configuration with dips. Coherent Doppler shifts in redshifted and blueshifted areas observed in both lines were detected along rapidly-changing vertical and horizontal structures. However, the tornado at the top of the prominence consists of multiple fine threads with opposite flows, suggesting counter-streaming flows rather than rotation. Surprisingly we found that the electron density at the top of the prominence could be larger (1011 cm−3) than in the inner part of the prominence.
Conclusions. We suggest that the tornado is in a formation state with cooling of hot plasma in a first phase, and following that, a phase of leakage of the formed blobs with large transverse flows of material along long loops extended away from the UV prominence top. The existence of such long magnetic field lines on both sides of the prominence would stop the tornado-like prominence from really turning around its axis.
Key words: Sun: filaments / prominences / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: corona / Sun: UV radiation / techniques: spectroscopic
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© ESO 2021
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