Damping of Propagating Kink Waves in the Solar Corona

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Alfvénic waves have gained renewed interest since the existence of ubiquitous propagating kink waves were discovered in the corona. It has long been suggested that Alfvénic waves play an important role in coronal heating and the acceleration of the solar wind. To this effect, it is imperative to understand the mechanisms that enable their energy to be transferred to the plasma. Mode conversion via resonant absorption is believed to be one of the main mechanisms for kink wave damping and it is considered to play a key role in the process of energy transfer. This study examines the damping of propagating kink waves in quiescent coronal loops using the Coronal Multi-channel Polarimeter. A coherence-based method is used to track the Doppler velocity signal of the waves, which enables us to investigate the spatial evolution of velocity perturbations. The power ratio of outward to inward propagating waves is used to estimate the associated damping lengths and quality factors. To enable accurate estimates of these quantities, we provide the first derivation of a likelihood function suitable for fitting models to the ratio of two power spectra obtained from discrete Fourier transforms. Maximum likelihood estimation is used to fit an exponential damping model to the observed variation in power ratio as a function of frequency. We confirm earlier indications that propagating kink waves are undergoing frequency-dependent damping. Additionally, we find that the rate of damping decreases, or equivalently the damping length increases, for longer coronal loops that reach higher in the corona.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106
Number of pages11
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date8 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2019


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