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Observations of solar chromospheric heating at sub-arcsec spatial resolution

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Smitha,  H. N.
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Chitta,  L. P.
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Wiegelmann,  Thomas
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Solanki,  Sami K.
Department Sun and Heliosphere, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;
ERC Advanced Grant: Solar magnetic field and its influence on solar variability and activity (SOLMAG), Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Smitha, H. N., Chitta, L. P., Wiegelmann, T., & Solanki, S. K. (2018). Observations of solar chromospheric heating at sub-arcsec spatial resolution. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 617: A128. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201833276.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-6953-B
Abstract
A wide variety of phenomena such as gentle but persistent brightening, dynamic slender features (∼100 km), and compact (∼1″) ultraviolet (UV) bursts are associated with the heating of the solar chromosphere. High spatio-temporal resolution is required to capture the finer details of the likely magnetic reconnection-driven, rapidly evolving bursts. Such observations are also needed to reveal their similarities to large-scale flares, which are also thought to be reconnection driven, and more generally their role in chromospheric heating. Here we report observations of chromospheric heating in the form of a UV burst obtained with the balloon-borne observatory SUNRISE. The observed burst displayed a spatial morphology similar to that of a large-scale solar flare with a circular ribbon. While the co-temporal UV observations at 1.5″ spatial resolution and 24 s cadence from the Solar Dynamics Observatory showed a compact brightening, the SUNRISE observations at diffraction-limited spatial resolution of 0.1″ at 7 s cadence revealed a dynamic substructure of the burst that it is composed of an extended ribbon-like feature and a rapidly evolving arcade of thin (∼0.1″) magnetic loop-like features, similar to post-flare loops. Such a dynamic substructure reveals the small-scale nature of chromospheric heating in these bursts. Furthermore, based on magnetic field extrapolations, this heating event is associated with a complex fan-spine magnetic topology. Our observations strongly hint at a unified picture of magnetic heating in the solar atmosphere from some large-scale flares to small-scale bursts, all associated with such a magnetic topology.