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Non-thermal line broadening due to braiding-induced turbulence in solar coronal loops

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Peter,  Hardi
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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Citation

Pontin, D. I., Peter, H., & Chitta, L. P. (2020). Non-thermal line broadening due to braiding-induced turbulence in solar coronal loops. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 639: A21. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202037582.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-F9A5-7
Abstract
Aims. Emission line profiles from solar coronal loops exhibit properties that are unexplained by current models. We investigate the non-thermal broadening associated with plasma heating in coronal loops that is induced by magnetic field line braiding. Methods. We describe the coronal loop by a 3D magnetohydrodynamic model of the turbulent decay of an initially-braided magnetic field. From this, we synthesised the Fe XII line at 193 Å that forms around 1.5 MK. Results. The key features of current observations of extreme ultraviolet (UV) lines from the corona are reproduced in the synthesised spectra: (i) Typical non-thermal widths range from 15 to 20 km s−1. (ii) The widths are approximately independent of the size of the field of view. (iii) There is a correlation between the line intensity and non-thermal broadening. (iv) Spectra are found to be non-Gaussian, with enhanced power in the wings of the order of 10–20%. Conclusions. Our model provides an explanation that self-consistently connects the heating process to the observed non-thermal line broadening. The non-Gaussian nature of the spectra is a consequence of the non-Gaussian nature of the underlying velocity fluctuations, which is interpreted as a signature of intermittency in the turbulence.