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Multi-layered Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability in the Solar Corona View all abstracts by submitter

Ding Yuan   Submitted: 2019-10-14 19:43

The Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability is commonly found in many astrophysical, laboratory, and space plasmas. It could mix plasma components of different properties and convert dynamic fluid energy from large scale structure to smaller ones. In this study, we combined the ground-based New Vacuum Solar Telescope (NVST) and the Solar Dynamic Observatories (SDO) / Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) to observe the plasma dynamics associated with active region 12673 on 09 September 2017. In this multi-temperature view, we identified three adjacent layers of plasma flowing at different speeds, and detected KH instabilities at their interfaces. We could unambiguously track a typical KH vortex and measure its motion. We found that the speed of this vortex suddenly tripled at a certain stage. This acceleration was synchronized with the enhancements in emission measure and average intensity of the 193 Å data. We interpret this as evidence that KH instability triggers plasma heating. The intriguing feature in this event is that the KH instability observed in the NVST channel was nearly complementary to that in the AIA 193 Å. Such a multi-thermal energy exchange process is easily overlooked in previous studies, as the cold plasma component is usually not visible in the extreme ultraviolet channels that are only sensitive to high temperature plasma emissions. Our finding indicates that embedded cold layers could interact with hot plasma as invisible matters. We speculate that this process could occur at a variety of length scales and could contribute to plasma heating.

Authors: Ding Yuan, Yuandeng Shen, Yu Liu, Xueshang Feng, Rony Keppens
Projects: New Vacuum Solar Telescope (NVST)

Publication Status: ApJ letter accepted
Last Modified: 2019-10-15 13:28
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