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Roberto Soler   Submitted: 2008-01-24 05:52

Context. Observations show that small-amplitude prominence oscillations are usually damped after a few periods. This phenomenon has been theoretically investigated in terms of non-ideal magnetoacoustic waves, non-adiabatic effects being the best candidates to explain the damping in the case of slow modes. Aims. We study the attenuation of non-adiabatic magnetoacoustic waves in a slab prominence embedded in the coronal medium. We assume an equilibrium configuration with a transverse magnetic field to the slab axis and investigate wave damping by thermal conduction and radiative losses. Methods. The magnetohydrodynamic equations are considered in their linearised form and terms representing thermal conduction, radiation and heating are included in the energy equation. The differential equations that govern linear slow and fast modes are numerically solved to obtain the complex oscillatory frequency and the corresponding eigenfunctions. Results. Coronal thermal conduction and radiative losses from the prominence plasma reveal as the most relevant damping mechanisms. Both mechanisms govern together the attenuation of hybrid modes, whereas prominence radiation is responsible for the damping of internal modes and coronal conduction essentially dominates the attenuation of external modes. In addition, the energy transfer between the prominence and the corona caused by thermal conduction has a noticeable effect on the wave stability, radiative losses from the prominence plasma being of paramount importance for the thermal stability of fast modes. Conclusions. Slow modes are efficiently damped, with damping times compatible with observations. On the contrary, fast modes are less attenuated by non-adiabatic effects and their damping times are several orders of magnitude larger than those observed. The presence of the corona causes a decrease of the damping times with respect to those of an isolated prominence slab, but its effect is still insufficient to obtain damping times of the order of the period in the case of fast modes.

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

Publication Status: Submitted to A&A
Last Modified: 2008-01-24 07:54
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