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Solar Corona Loop Studies with AIA: I. Cross-Sectional Temperature Structure View all abstracts by submitter

Markus J. Aschwanden   Submitted: 2011-03-01 09:31

We present a first systematic study on the cross-sectional temperaturestructure of coronal loops using the six coronal temperature filtersof the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on the SolarDynamics Observatory (SDO). We analyze a sample of 100 loop snapshotsmeasured at 10 different locations and 10 different times in activeregion NOAA 11089 on 2010 July 24, 21:00-22:00 UT. The cross-sectionalflux profiles are measured and a cospatial background is subtracted in6 filters in a temperature range of T ≈ 0.5-16 MK, and 4different parameterizations of differential emission measure (DEM)distributions are fitted. We find that the reconstructed DEMs consistpredominantly of narrowband peak temperature components with a thermalwidth of σlog(T) ≤ 0.11 ± 0.02,close to the temperature resolution limit of the instrument,consistent with earlier triple-filter analysis from TRACE byAschwanden and Nightingale (2005) and from EIS/Hinode by Warren et al.(2008) or Tripathi et al. (2009). We find that 66% of the loops couldbe fitted with a narrowband single-Gaussian DEM model, and 19% with aDEM consisting of two narrowband Gaussians (which mostly result frompairs of intersecting loops along the same line-of-sight). The mostlyisothermal loop DEMs allow us also to derive an improved empiricalresponse function of the AIA 94Å filter, which needs to be boostedby a factor of q94 = 6.7± 1.7 for temperaturesat log(T) ≤ 6.3. The main result of near-isothermal loopcross-sections is not consistent with the predictions of standardnanoflare scenarios, but can be explained by flare-like heatingmechanisms that drive chromospheric evaporation and upflows of heatedplasma coherently over loop cross-sections of w ≈ 2-4Mm.

Authors: Markus J. Aschwanden and Paul Boerner
Projects: SDO-AIA

Publication Status: ApJ (accepted March 1, 2011; in press)
Last Modified: 2011-03-01 18:50
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