Observations of ubiquitous compressive waves in the Sun’s chromosphere

Richard Morton, Gary Verth, David Jess, David Kuridze, Michael S. Ruderman, Mihalis Mathioudakis, Robert Erdélyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


The details of the mechanism(s) responsible for the observed heating and dynamics of the solar atmosphere still remain a mystery. Magnetohydrodynamic waves are thought to have a vital role in this process. Although it has been shown that incompressible waves are ubiquitous in off-limb solar atmospheric observations, their energy cannot be readily dissipated. Here we provide, for the first time, on-disk observation and identification of concurrent magnetohydrodynamic wave modes, both compressible and incompressible, in the solar chromosphere. The observed ubiquity and estimated energy flux associated with the detected magnetohydrodynamic waves suggest the chromosphere is a vast reservoir of wave energy with the potential to meet chromospheric and coronal heating requirements. We are also able to propose an upper bound on the flux of the observed wave energy that is able to reach the corona based on observational constraints, which has important implications for the suggested mechanism(s) for quiescent coronal heating.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2012


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