SPICE connection mosaics to link the Sun's surface and the heliosphere

T. Varesano, D. M. Hassler, N. Zambrana Prado, J. Plowman, G. Del Zanna, S. Parenti, H. E. Mason, A. Giunta, F. Auchère, M. Carlsson, A. Fludra, H. Peter, D. Müller, D. Williams, R. Aznar Cuadrado, K. Barczynski, E. Buchlin, M. Caldwell, T. Fredvik, T. GrundyS. Guest, L. Harra, M. Janvier, T. Kucera, S. Leeks, W. Schmutz, U. Schuehle, S. Sidher, L. Teriaca, W. Thompson, S. L. Yardley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


Aims. We present an analysis of the first connection mosaic made by the SPICE instrument on board the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter mission on March 2, 2022. The data will be used to map coronal composition that will be compared with in-situ measurements taken by SWA/HIS to establish the coronal origin of the solar wind plasma observed at Solar Orbiter. The SPICE spectral lines were chosen to have varying sensitivity to the first ionization potential (FIP) effect, and therefore the radiances of the spectral lines will vary significantly depending on whether the elemental composition is coronal or photospheric. We investigate the link between the behavior of sulfur and the hypothesis that Alfvén waves drive FIP fractionation above the chromosphere. 

Methods. We performed temperature diagnostics using line ratios and emission measure (EM) loci, and computed relative FIP biases using three different approaches (two-line ratio (2LR), ratios of linear combinations of spectral lines (LCR), and differential emission measure (DEM) inversion) in order to perform composition diagnostics in the corona. We then compared the SPICE composition analysis and EUI data of the potential solar wind source regions to the SWA/HIS data products. 

Results. Radiance maps were extracted from SPICE spectral data cubes, with values matching previous observations. We find isothermal plasma of around log T., =., 5.8 for the AR loops targeted, and that higher FIP-bias values are present at the footpoints of the coronal loops associated with two ARs. Comparing the results with the SWA/HIS data products encourages us to think that Solar Orbiter was connected to a source of slow solar wind during this observation campaign. We demonstrate FIP fractionation in observations of the upper chromosphere and transition region, emphasized by the behavior of the intermediate-FIP element sulfur.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA146
Number of pages19
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Early online date17 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Cite this