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Pagaran J.,University of Bremen | Weber M.,University of Bremen | DeLand M.T.,Inc SSAI | Floyd L.E.,Interferometrics Inc. | Burrows J.P.,University of Bremen
Solar Physics | Year: 2011

Regular solar spectral irradiance (SSI) observations from space that simultaneously cover the UV, visible (vis), and the near-IR (NIR) spectral region began with SCIAMACHY aboard ENVISAT in August 2002. Up to now, these direct observations cover less than a decade. In order for these SSI measurements to be useful in assessing the role of the Sun in climate change, records covering more than an eleven-year solar cycle are required. By using our recently developed empirical SCIA proxy model, we reconstruct daily SSI values over several decades by using solar proxies scaled to short-term SCIAMACHY solar irradiance observations to describe decadal irradiance changes. These calculations are compared to existing solar data: the UV data from SUSIM/UARS, from the DeLand & Cebula satellite composite, and the SIP model (S2K+VUV2002); and UV-vis-IR data from the NRLSSI and SATIRE models, and SIM/SORCE measurements. The mean SSI of the latter models show good agreement (less than 5%) in the vis regions over three decades while larger disagreements (10 - 20%) are found in the UV and IR regions. Between minima and maxima of Solar Cycles 21, 22, and 23, the inferred SSI variability from the SCIA proxy is intermediate between SATIRE and NRLSSI in the UV. While the DeLand & Cebula composite provide the highest variability between solar minimum and maximum, the SIP/Solar2000 and NRLSSI models show minimum variability, which may be due to the use of a single proxy in the modeling of the irradiances. In the vis-IR spectral region, the SCIA proxy model reports lower values in the changes from solar maximum to minimum, which may be attributed to overestimations of the sunspot proxy used in modeling the SCIAMACHY irradiances. The fairly short timeseries of SIM/SORCE shows a steeper decreasing (increasing) trend in the UV (vis) than the other data during the descending phase of Solar Cycle 23. Though considered to be only provisional, the opposite trend seen in the visible SIM data challenges the validity of proxy-based linear extrapolation commonly used in reconstructing past irradiances. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Liu R.,Space Weather Research Laboratory | Lee J.,NJIT | Wang T.,Catholic University of America | Stenborg G.,Interferometrics Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2010

Magnetic reconnection changes the magnetic field topology and powers explosive events in astrophysical, space, and laboratory plasmas. For flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in the solar atmosphere, the standard model predicts the presence of a reconnecting current sheet, which has been the subject of considerable theoretical and numerical modeling over the last 50 years, yet direct, unambiguous observational verification has been absent. In this Letter, we show a bright sheet structure of global length (>0.25R ⊙) and macroscopic width ((5-10)×103 km) distinctly above the cusp-shaped flaring loop, imaged during the flare rising phase in EUV. The sheet formed due to the stretch of a transequatorial loop system and was accompanied by various reconnection signatures. This unique event provides a comprehensive view of the reconnection geometry and dynamics in the solar corona. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Vourlidas A.,U.S. Navy | Colaninno R.,U.S. Navy | Nieves-Chinchilla T.,Catholic University of America | Stenborg G.,Interferometrics Inc.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2011

In this Letter, we present the first direct detection of a rotating coronal mass ejection (CME) in the middle corona (5-15 R ). The CME rotation rate is 60° day-1, which is the highest rate reported yet. The Earth-directed event was observed by the STEREO/SECCHI and SOHO/LASCO instruments. We are able to derive the three-dimensional morphology and orientation of the CME flux rope by applying a forward-fitting model to simultaneous observations from three vantage points (SECCHI-A, -B, LASCO). Surprisingly, we find that even such rapidly rotating CME does not result in significant projection effects (variable angular width) in any single coronagraph view. This finding may explain the prevalent view of constant angular width for CMEs above 5 R and the lack of detections of rotating CMEs in the past. Finally, the CME is a "stealth" CME with very weak low corona signatures as viewed from Earth. It originated from a quiet-Sun neutral line. We tentatively attribute the fast rotation to a possible disconnection of one of the CME footpoints early in the eruption. We discuss the implications of such rotations to space weather prediction. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Crenshaw D.M.,Georgia State University | Schmitt H.R.,U.S. Navy | Schmitt H.R.,Interferometrics Inc. | Kraemer S.B.,Catholic University of America | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

We present a study of the radial velocity offsets between narrow emission lines and host galaxy lines (stellar absorption and H I 21 cm emission) in Seyfert galaxies with observed redshifts less than 0.043. We find that 35% of the Seyferts in the sample show [O III] emission lines with blueshifts with respect to their host galaxies exceeding 50 km s-1, whereas only 6% show redshifts this large, in qualitative agreement with most previous studies. We also find that a greater percentage of Seyfert 1 galaxies show blueshifts than Seyfert 2 galaxies. Using Hubble Spce Talescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spatially resolved spectra of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC1068 and the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC4151, we generate geometric models of their narrow-line regions (NLRs) and inner galactic disks, and show how these models can explain the blueshifted [O III] emission lines in collapsed STIS spectra of these two Seyferts. We conclude that the combination of mass outflow of ionized gas in the NLR and extinction by dust in the inner disk (primarily in the form of dust spirals) is primarily responsible for the velocity offsets in Seyfert galaxies. More exotic explanations are not needed. We discuss the implications of this result for the velocity offsets found in higher redshift active galactic nuclei. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society.

Warren H.P.,U.S. Navy | Warren H.P.,George Mason University | Ugarte-Urra I.,U.S. Navy | Ugarte-Urra I.,George Mason University | And 4 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

Spectroscopic observations with the EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) on Hinode have revealed large areas of high-speed outflows at the periphery of many solar active regions. These outflows are of interest because they may connect to the heliosphere and contribute to the solar wind. In this paper, we use slit rasters from EIS in combination with narrowband slot imaging to study the temperature dependence and morphology of an outflow region and show that it is more complicated than previously thought. Outflows are observed primarily in emission lines from Fe XI to Fe XV. Observations at lower temperatures (Si VII), in contrast, show bright fan-like structures that are dominated by inflows. These data also indicate that the morphology of the outflows and the fans is different, outflows are observed in regions where there is no emission in Si VII. This suggests that the fans, which are often associated with outflows in studies involving imaging data, are not directly related to the active region outflows. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society.

Robbrecht E.,U.S. Navy | Robbrecht E.,George Mason University | Wang Y.-M.,U.S. Navy | Sheeley N.R.,U.S. Navy | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

Butterfly diagrams (latitude-time plots) of coronal emission show a zone of enhanced brightness that appears near the poles just after solar maximum and migrates toward lower latitudes; a bifurcation seems to occur at sunspot minimum, with one branch continuing to migrate equatorward with the sunspots of the new cycle and the other branch heading back to the poles. The resulting patterns have been likened to those seen in torsional oscillations and have been taken as evidence for an extended solar cycle lasting over 17 yr. In order to clarify the nature of the overlapping bands of coronal emission, we construct butterfly diagrams from green-line simulations covering the period 1967-2009 and from 19.5 nm and 30.4 nm observations taken with the Extreme-Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope during 1996-2009. As anticipated from earlier studies, we find that the high-latitude enhancements mark the footpoint areas of closed loops with one end rooted outside the evolving boundaries of the polar coronal holes. The strong underlying fields were built up over the declining phase of the cycle through the poleward transport of active-region flux by the surface meridional flow. Rather than being a precursor of the new-cycle sunspot activity zone, the high-latitude emission forms a physically distinct, U-shaped band that curves upward again as active-region fields emerge at midlatitudes and reconnect with the receding polar-hole boundaries. We conclude that the so-called extended cycle in coronal emission is a manifestation not of early new-cycle activity, but of the poleward concentration of old-cycle trailing-polarity flux by meridional flow. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Stenborg G.,Interferometrics Inc. | Marsch E.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Vourlidas A.,U.S. Navy | Howard R.,U.S. Navy | Baldwin K.,Praxis Inc.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

Context. In the past years, evidence for the existence of outward-moving (Doppler blue-shifted) plasma and slow-mode magnetoacoustic propagating waves in various magnetic field structures (loops in particular) in the solar corona has been found in ultraviolet images and spectra. Yet their origin and possible connection to and importance for the mass and energy supply to the corona and solar wind is still unclear. There has been increasing interest in this problem thanks to the high-resolution observations available from the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) imagers on the Solar TErrestrial RElationships Observatory (STEREO) and the EUV spectrometer on the Hinode mission. Aims. Flows and waves exist in the corona, and their signatures appear in EUV imaging observations but are extremely difficult to analyse quantitatively because of their weak intensity. Hence, such information is currently available mostly from spectroscopic observations that are restricted in their spatial and temporal coverage. To understand the nature and origin of these fluctuations, imaging observations are essential. Here, we present measurements of the speed of intensity fluctuations observed along apparently open field lines with the Extreme UltraViolet Imagers (EUVI) onboard the STEREO mission. One aim of our paper is to demonstrate that we can make reliable kinematic measurements from these EUV images, thereby complementing and extending the spectroscopic measurements and opening up the full corona for such an analysis. Another aim is to examine the assumptions that lead to flow versus wave interpretation for these fluctuations. Methods. We have developed a novel image-processing method by fusing well established techniques for the kinematic analysis of coronal mass ejections (CME) with standard wavelet analysis. The power of our method lies with its ability to recover weak intensity fluctuations along individual magnetic structures at any orientation, anywhere within the full solar disk, and using standard synoptic observing sequences (cadence <3 min) without the need for special observation plans. Results. Using information from both EUVI imagers, we obtained wave phase speeds with values on the order of 60-90 km s-1, compatible with those obtained by other previous measurements. Moreover, we studied the periodicity of the observed fluctuations and established a predominance of a 16-min period, and other periods that seem to be multiples of an underlying 8-min period. Conclusions. The validation of our analysis technique opens up new possibilities for the study of coronal flows and waves, by extending it to the full disk and to a larger number of coronal structures than has been possible previously. It opens up a new scientific capability for the EUV observations from the recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory. Here we clearly establish the ubiquitous existence of sound waves which continuously propagate along apparently open magnetic field lines. © 2010 ESO.

Patsourakos S.,University of Ioannina | Vourlidas A.,U.S. Navy | Stenborg G.,Interferometrics Inc.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2010

The study of fast, eruptive events in the low solar corona is one of the science objectives of the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) imagers on the recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which take full disk images in 10 wavelengths with arcsecond resolution and 12 s cadence. We study with AIA the formation of an impulsive coronal mass ejection (CME) which occurred on 2010 June 13 and was associated with an M1.0 class flare. Specifically, we analyze the formation of the CME EUV bubble and its initial dynamics and thermal evolution in the low corona using AIA images in three wavelengths (171 Å, 193 Å, and 211 Å). We derive the first ultra-high cadence measurements of the temporal evolution of the CME bubble aspect ratio (=bubble height/bubble radius). Our main result is that the CME formation undergoes three phases: it starts with a slow self-similar expansion followed by a fast but short-lived (∼70 s) period of strong lateral overexpansion which essentially creates the CME. Then the CME undergoes another phase of self-similar expansion until it exits the AIA field of view. During the studied interval, the CME height-time profile shows a strong, short-lived, acceleration followed by deceleration. The lateral overexpansion phase coincides with the deceleration phase. The impulsive flare heating and CME acceleration are closely coupled. However, the lateral overexpansion of the CME occurs during the declining phase and is therefore not linked to flare reconnection. In addition, the multi-thermal analysis of the bubble does not show significant evidence of temperature change. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Drake J.J.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Cohen O.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Yashiro S.,Interferometrics Inc. | Yashiro S.,NASA | Gopalswamy N.,NASA
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

Analysis of a database of solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and associated flares over the period 1996-2007 finds well-behaved power-law relationships between the 1-8 Å flare X-ray fluence and CME mass and kinetic energy. We extrapolate these relationships to lower and higher flare energies to estimate the mass and energy loss due to CMEs from stellar coronae, assuming that the observed X-ray emission of the latter is dominated by flares with a frequency as a function of energy dn/dE = kE -α. For solar-like stars at saturated levels of X-ray activity, the implied losses depend fairly weakly on the assumed value of α and are very large: M ∼ 5× 10-10 Ṁ yr-1 and E 0.1 L ⊙. In order to avoid such large energy requirements, either the relationships between CME mass and speed and flare energy must flatten for X-ray fluence ≳ 1031 erg, or the flare-CME association must drop significantly below 1 for more energetic events. If active coronae are dominated by flares, then the total coronal energy budget is likely to be up to an order of magnitude larger than the canonical 10-3 L bol X-ray saturation threshold. This raises the question of what is the maximum energy a magnetic dynamo can extract from a star? For an energy budget of 1% of L bol, the CME mass loss rate is about 5 × 10-11 M ⊙ yr-1. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Tothova D.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Innes D.E.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Stenborg G.,Interferometrics Inc
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

Context. Oscillations of coronal loops in the Sun have been reported in both imaging and spectral observations at the onset of flares. Images reveal transverse oscillations, whereas spectra detect line-of-sight velocity or Doppler-shift oscillations. The Doppler-shift oscillations are commonly interpreted as longitudinal modes. Aims. Our aim is to investigate the relationship between loop dynamics and flows seen in TRACE 195 Å images and Doppler shifts observed by SUMER in Sia iii 1113.2 Å and FeXIX 1118.1 Å at the time of a C.8-class limb flare and an associated CME. Methods. We carefully co-aligned the sequence of TRACE 195 Å images to structures seen in the SUMER Sia iii, CaX, and FeXIX emission lines. Additionally, Hα observations of a lifting prominence associated with the flare and the coronal mass ejection (CME) are available in three bands around 6563.3Å. They give constraints on the timing and geometry. Results. Large-scale Doppler-shift oscillations in FeXIX and transverse oscillations in intensity images were observed over a large region of the corona after the passage of a wide bright extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) disturbance, which suggests ionization, heating, and acceleration of hot plasma in the wake of a blast wave. © 2011 ESO.

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