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Long-Period Intensity Pulsations in Coronal Loops Explained by Thermal Non-Equilibrium Cycles  

Clara Froment   Submitted: 2017-03-10 07:28

In solar coronal loops, thermal non-equilibrium (TNE) is a phenomenon that can occur when the heating is both highly-stratified and quasi-constant. Unambiguous observational identification of TNE would thus permit to strongly constrain heating scenarios. Up to now, while TNE is the standard interpretation of coronal rain, the long-term periodic evolution predicted by simulations has never been observed yet. However, the detection of long-period intensity pulsations (periods of several hours) has been recently reported with SoHO/EIT, and this phenomenon appears to be very common in loops. Moreover, the three intensity-pulsation events that we recently studied with SDO/AIA show strong evidence for TNE in warm loops. In the present paper, a realistic loop geometry from LFFF extrapolations is used as input to 1D hydrodynamic simulations. Our simulations show that for the present loop geometry, the heating has to be asymmetrical to produce TNE. We analyse in detail one particular simulation that reproduces the average thermal behavior of one of the pulsating loop bundle observed with AIA. We compare the properties of this simulation with the properties deduced from the observations. The magnetic topology of the LFFF extrapolations points to the presence of sites of preferred reconnection at one footpoint, supporting the presence of asymmetric heating. In addition, we can reproduce the temporal large-scale intensity properties of the pulsating loops. This simulation further strengthens the interpretation of the observed pulsations as signatures of TNE. This thus gives important information on the heating localization and time scale for these loops.

Authors: Clara Froment, Frédéric Auchère, Guillaume Aulanier, Zoran Mikić, Karine Bocchialini, Eric Buchlin, Jacques Solomon

Publication Status: published in ApJ
Last Modified: 2017-03-14 11:47
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Evidence for evaporation-incomplete condensation cycles in warm solar coronal loops  

Clara Froment   Submitted: 2015-05-11 02:55

Quasi-constant heating at the footpoints of loops leads to evaporation and condensation cycles of the plasma: thermal non-equilibrium (TNE). This phenomenon is believed to play a role in the formation of prominences and coronal rain. However, it is often discarded to be involved in the heating of warm loops as the models do not reproduce observations. Recent simulations have shown that these inconsistencies with observations may be due to oversimplifications of the geometries of the models. In addition, our recent observations reveal that long-period intensity pulsations (several hours) are common in solar coronal loops. These periods are consistent with those expected from TNE. The aim of this paper is to derive characteristic physical properties of the plasma for some of these events to test the potential role of TNE in loop heating. We analyzed three events in detail using the six EUV coronal channels of SDO/AIA. We performed both a Differential Emission Measure (DEM) and a time-lag analysis, including a new method to isolate the relevant signal from the foreground and background emission. For the three events, the DEM undergoes long-period pulsations, which is a signature of periodic heating even though the loops are captured in their cooling phase, as is the bulk of the active regions. We link long-period intensity pulsations to new signatures of loop heating with strong evidence for evaporation and condensation cycles. We thus witness simultaneously widespread cooling and TNE. Finally, we discuss the implications of our new observations for both static and impulsive heating models.

Authors: Clara Froment, Frederic Auchere, Karine Bocchialini, Eric Buchlin, Chloe Guennou, Jacques Solomon
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal
Last Modified: 2015-05-12 14:02
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Long-Period Intensity Pulsations in Coronal Loops Explained by Thermal Non-Equilibrium Cycles
Evidence for evaporation-incomplete condensation cycles in warm solar coronal loops

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