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Title: Ultra-fine-scale filamentary structures in the Outer Corona and the Solar Magnetic Field
Authors: Woo, Richard
Keywords: solar magnetic fields
Sun : Corona
Issue Date: 10-Mar-2006
Publisher: The American Astronomical Society
Citation: The Astrophysical Journal, 639:L95-L98.
Abstract: Filamentary structures following magnetic field lines pervade the Sun’s atmosphere and offer us insight into the solar magnetic field. Radio propagation measurements have shown that the smallest filamentary structures in the solar corona are more than 2 orders of magnitude finer than those seen in solar imaging. Here we use radio Doppler measurements to characterize their transverse density gradient and determine their finest scale in the outer corona at 20–30 R⊙, where open magnetic fields prevail. Filamentary structures overlying active regions have the steepest gradient and finest scale, while those overlying coronal holes have the shallowest gradient and least finest scale. Their organization by the underlying corona implies that these subresolution structures extend radially from the entire Sun, confirming that they trace the coronal magnetic field responsible for the radial expansion of the solar wind. That they are rooted all over the Sun elucidates the association between the magnetic field of the photosphere and that of the corona, as revealed by the similarity between the power spectra of the photospheric field and the coronal density fluctuations. This association along with the persistence of filamentary structures far from the Sun demonstrate that subresolution magnetic fields must play an important role not only in magnetic coupling of the photosphere and corona, but also in coronal heating and solar wind acceleration through the process of small-scale magnetic reconnection. They also explain why current widely used theoretical models that extrapolate photospheric magnetic fields into the corona do not predict the correct source of the solar wind.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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