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On the support of neutrals against gravity in solar prominences View all abstracts by submitter

Jaume Terradas   Submitted: 2015-03-20 05:21

Cool and dense prominences found in the solar atmosphere are known to be partially ionized because of their relative low temperature. In this Letter, we address the long-standing problem of how the neutral component of the plasma in prominences is supported against gravity. Using the multiple fluid approach we solve the time-dependent equations in two dimensions considering the frictional coupling between the neutral and ionized components of the magnetized plasma representative of a solar prominence embedded in a hot coronal environment. We demonstrate that given an initial density enhancement in the two fluids, representing the body of the prominence, the system is able to relax in the vicinity of magnetic dips to a stationary state in which both neutrals and ionized species are dynamically suspended above the photosphere. Two different coupling processes are considered in this study, collisions between ions and neutrals and charge exchange interactions. We find that for realistic conditions ions are essentially static while neutrals have a very small downflow velocity. The coupling between ions and neutrals is so strong at the prominence body that the behavior is similar to that of a single fluid with an effective density equal to the sum of the ion and neutral species. We also find that the charge exchange mechanism is about three times more efficient sustaining neutrals than elastic scattering of ions with neutrals.

Authors: J. Terradas, R. Soler, R. Oliver, \& J. L., Ballester
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted for publication in ApJL
Last Modified: 2015-03-20 05:51
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