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  1. Abstract Understanding the mechanisms underlying the heating of the solar atmosphere is a fundamental problem in solar physics. In this paper, we present an overview of our research on understanding the heating mechanism of the solar active region atmosphere in chromosphere. We investigate Joule heating due to the dissipation of currents perpendicular to the magnetic field by the Cowling resistivity using a data-constrained analysis based on observational and tabulated theoretical/semi-empirical solar atmosphere model data. As target region, we focus on a sunspot umbral light bridge where we find that this heating mechanism plays an important role and is also highly dynamic. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024

    Measurements of the optical turbulence profile are critical for selecting a potential new solar observational site or for characterizing an existing solar observatory. To measure the turbulence distribution to a moderate altitude above an existing observatory, current techniques use a large facility telescope with an aperture size larger than 1.0 m. This limits their application, especially in surveys to find a new potential site where no large facility telescope is available and where a portable measurement device is needed for such measurements. To address the above issues, we propose a new technique, termed the Advanced Multiple Aperture Seeing Profiler (A-MASP), which uses solar granulation to measure the daytime optical turbulence profile. The A-MASP is a portable system and thus can fully address the fundamental limitation of current optical turbulence profile measurement techniques. The A-MASP consists of two small telescopes, each with an aperture of the order of 100 mm, which can measure the turbulence profile to an altitude up to 20 km. Here, we present our A-MASP development work and its initial on-site measurements at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. In a proof-of-concept experiment, it was successfully demonstrated that the A-MASP can reliably measure the turbulence profile up to 12 km with a vector separation of 0.7 m between the two telescopes. The A-MASP could be used for future surveys to find potentially good observational sites.

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  3. Abstract

    Sunspot light bridges (LBs) exhibit a wide range of short-lived phenomena in the chromosphere and transition region. In contrast, we use here data from the Multi-Application Solar Telescope (MAST), the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), Hinode, the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA), and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) to analyze the sustained heating over days in an LB in a regular sunspot. Chromospheric temperatures were retrieved from the MAST Caiiand IRIS Mgiilines by nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium inversions. Line widths, Doppler shifts, and intensities were derived from the IRIS lines using Gaussian fits. Coronal temperatures were estimated through the differential emission measure, while the coronal magnetic field was obtained from an extrapolation of the HMI vector field. At the photosphere, the LB exhibits a granular morphology with field strengths of about 400 G and no significant electric currents. The sunspot does not fragment, and the LB remains stable for several days. The chromospheric temperature, IRIS line intensities and widths, and AIA 171 and 211 Å intensities are all enhanced in the LB with temperatures from 8000 K to 2.5 MK. Photospheric plasma motions remain small, while the chromosphere and transition region indicate predominantly redshifts of 5–20 km s−1with occasional supersonic downflows exceeding 100 km s−1. The excess thermal energy over the LB is about 3.2 × 1026erg and matches the radiative losses. It could be supplied by magnetic flux loss of the sunspot (7.5 × 1027erg), kinetic energy from the increase in the LB width (4 × 1028erg), or freefall of mass along the coronal loops (6.3 × 1026erg).

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  4. Context. Resistive Ohmic dissipation has been suggested as a mechanism for heating the solar chromosphere, but few studies have established this association. Aims. We aim to determine how Ohmic dissipation by electric currents can heat the solar chromosphere. Methods. We combine high-resolution spectroscopic Ca  II data from the Dunn Solar Telescope and vector magnetic field observations from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) to investigate thermal enhancements in a sunspot light bridge. The photospheric magnetic field from HMI was extrapolated to the corona using a non-force-free field technique that provided the three-dimensional distribution of electric currents, while an inversion of the chromospheric Ca  II line with a local thermodynamic equilibrium and a nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium spectral archive delivered the temperature stratifications from the photosphere to the chromosphere. Results. We find that the light bridge is a site of strong electric currents, of about 0.3 A m −2 at the bottom boundary, which extend to about 0.7 Mm while decreasing monotonically with height. These currents produce a chromospheric temperature excess of about 600−800 K relative to the umbra. Only the light bridge, where relatively weak and highly inclined magnetic fields emerge over a duration of 13 h, shows a spatial coincidence of thermal enhancements and electric currents. The temperature enhancements and the Cowling heating are primarily confined to a height range of 0.4−0.7 Mm above the light bridge. The corresponding increase in internal energy of 200 J m −3 can be supplied by the heating in about 10 min. Conclusions. Our results provide direct evidence for currents heating the lower solar chromosphere through Ohmic dissipation. 
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  5. Abstract

    Solar filaments exist as stable structures for extended periods of time before many of them form the core of a coronal mass ejection (CME). We examine the properties of an erupting filament on 2017 May 29–30 with high-resolution Hei10830 Å and Hαspectra from the Dunn Solar Telescope, full-disk Dopplergrams of Hei10830 Å from the Chromospheric Telescope, and EUV and coronograph data from SDO and STEREO. Pre-eruption line-of-sight velocities from an inversion of Heiwith the HAZEL code exhibit coherent patches of 5 Mm extent that indicate counter-streaming and/or buoyant behavior. During the eruption, individual, aligned threads appear in the Heivelocity maps. The distribution of velocities evolves from Gaussian to strongly asymmetric. The maximal optical depth of Hei10830 Å decreased fromτ= 1.75 to 0.25, the temperature increased by 13 kK, and the average speed and width of the filament increased from 0 to 25 km s−1and 10 to 20 Mm, respectively. All data sources agree that the filament rose with an exponential acceleration reaching 7.4 m s−2that increased to a final velocity of 430 km s−1at 22:24 UT; a CME was associated with this filament eruption. The properties during the eruption favor a kink/torus instability, which requires the existence of a flux rope. We conclude that full-disk chromospheric Dopplergrams can be used to trace the initial phase of on-disk filament eruptions in real time, which might potentially be useful for modeling the source of any subsequent CMEs.

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