Recent observations by Hinode/SOT show that MHD waves and mass flows are simultaneously present in the fine structure of solar prominences. We investigate standing kink magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves in flowing prominence threads from a theoretical point of view. We model a prominence fine structure as a cylindrical magnetic tube embedded in the solar corona with its ends line-tied in the photosphere. The magnetic cylinder is composed of a region with dense prominence plasma, which is flowing along the magnetic tube, whereas the rest of the flux tube is occupied by coronal plasma. We use the WKB approximation to obtain analytical expressions for the period and the amplitude of the fundamental mode as functions of the flow velocity. In addition, we solve the full problem numerically by means of time-dependent simulations. We find that both the period and the amplitude of the standing MHD waves vary in time as the prominence thread flows along the magnetic structure. The fundamental kink mode is a good description for the time-dependent evolution of the oscillations, and the analytical expressions in the WKB approximation are in agreement with the full numerical results. The presence of flow modifies the period of the oscillations with respect to the static case. However, for realistic flow velocities this effect might fall within the error bars of the observations. The variation of the amplitude due to the flow leads to apparent damping or amplification of the oscillations, which could modify the real rate of attenuation caused by an additional damping mechanism.
Authors: Roberto Soler and Marcel Goossens
Publication Status: Accepted in A&A
Last Modified: 2011-06-21 13:47