Ref: SCART-2017-0023

Improved Determination of the Location of the Temperature Maximum in the Corona

Lemaire, Joseph ; Stegen, Koen

published in Solar Physics, 291 issue 12, pp. 3659-3683 (2016)

Abstract: The most used method to calculate the coronal electron temperature [Te (r)] from a coronal density distribution [ne (r)] is the scale-height method (SHM). We introduce a novel method that is a generalization of a method introduced by Alfvén ( Ark. Mat. Astron. Fys. 27, 1, 1941) to calculate Te(r) for a corona in hydrostatic equilibrium: the "HST" method. All of the methods discussed here require given electron-density distributions [ne (r)] which can be derived from white-light (WL) eclipse observations. The new "DYN" method determines the unique solution of Te(r) for which Te(r → ∞) → 0 when the solar corona expands radially as realized in hydrodynamical solar-wind models. The applications of the SHM method and DYN method give comparable distributions for Te(r). Both have a maximum [T_{max}] whose value ranges between 1 - 3 MK. However, the peak of temperature is located at a different altitude in both cases. Close to the Sun where the expansion velocity is subsonic (r < 1.3 R_{⊙}) the DYN method gives the same results as the HST method. The effects of the other free parameters on the DYN temperature distribution are presented in the last part of this study. Our DYN method is a new tool to evaluate the range of altitudes where the heating rate is maximum in the solar corona when the electron-density distribution is obtained from WL coronal observations.

Keyword(s): Solar corona ; Coronal electron temperature ; Solar wind
DOI: 10.1007/s11207-016-1001-3

The record appears in these collections:
Royal Observatory of Belgium > Solar Physics & Space Weather (SIDC)
Science Articles > Peer Reviewed Articles
Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy

 Record created 2017-01-16, last modified 2017-02-02