The generation and damping of propagating MHD kink waves in the solar atmosphere

Richard Morton, Gary Verth, Andrew Hillier, Robert Erdélyi

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The source of the non-thermal energy required for the heating of the upper solar atmosphere to temperatures in excess of a million degrees and the acceleration of the solar wind to hundreds of kilometers per second is still unclear. One such mechanism for providing the required energy flux is incompressible torsional Alfven and kink magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves, which are magnetically dominated waves supported by the Sun's pervasive and complex magnetic field. In particular, propagating MHD kink waves have recently been observed to be ubiquitous throughout the solar atmosphere, but, until now, critical details of the transport of the kink wave energy throughout the Sun's atmosphere were lacking. Here, the ubiquity of the waves is exploited for statistical studies in the highly dynamic solar chromosphere. This large-scale investigation allows for the determination of the chromospheric kink wave velocity power spectra, a missing link necessary for determining the energy transport between the photosphere and corona. Crucially, the power spectra contain evidence for horizontal photospheric motions being an important mechanism for kink wave generation in the quiescent Sun. In addition, a comparison with measured coronal power spectra is provided for the first time, revealing frequency-dependent transmission profiles, suggesting that there is enhanced damping of kink waves in the lower corona.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2014


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