Observations of apparent superslow wave propagation in solar prominences ⋆
1 Centre for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200B, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
2 Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281-S9, 9000 Gent, Belgium
3 School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, UK
Received: 29 July 2016
Accepted: 3 March 2017
Context. Phase mixing of standing continuum Alfvén waves and/or continuum slow waves in atmospheric magnetic structures such as coronal arcades can create the apparent effect of a wave propagating across the magnetic field.
Aims. We observe a prominence with SDO/AIA on 2015 March 15 and find the presence of oscillatory motion. We aim to demonstrate that interpreting this motion as a magneto hydrodynamic (MHD) wave is faulty. We also connect the decrease of the apparent velocity over time with the phase mixing process, which depends on the curvature of the magnetic field lines.
Methods. By measuring the displacement of the prominence at different heights to calculate the apparent velocity, we show that the propagation slows down over time, in accordance with the theoretical work of Kaneko et al. We also show that this propagation speed drops below what is to be expected for even slow MHD waves for those circumstances. We use a modified Kippenhahn-Schlüter prominence model to calculate the curvature of the magnetic field and fit our observations accordingly.
Results. Measuring three of the apparent waves, we get apparent velocities of 14, 8, and 4 km s-1. Fitting a simple model for the magnetic field configuration, we obtain that the filament is located 103 Mm below the magnetic centre. We also obtain that the scale of the magnetic field strength in the vertical direction plays no role in the concept of apparent superslow waves and that the moment of excitation of the waves happened roughly one oscillation period before the end of the eruption that excited the oscillation.
Conclusions. Some of the observed phase velocities are lower than expected for slow modes for the circumstances, showing that they rather fit with the concept of apparent superslow propagation. A fit with our magnetic field model allows for inferring the magnetic geometry of the prominence.
Key words: Sun: filaments, prominences / Sun: oscillations
The movie attached to Fig. 1 is available at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2017