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A ring of polarized light: Evidence for twisted coronal magnetism in cavities

AMS Citation:
Dove, J. B., S. Gibson, L. Rachmeler, S. Tomczyk, and P. G. Judge, 2011: A ring of polarized light: Evidence for twisted coronal magnetism in cavities. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 731, L1, doi:10.1088/2041-8205/731/1/L1.
Date:2011-03-15
Resource Type:article
Title:A ring of polarized light: Evidence for twisted coronal magnetism in cavities
Abstract: Coronal prominence cavities may be manifestations of twisted or sheared magnetic fields capable of storing the energy required to drive solar eruptions. The Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter (CoMP), recently installed at Mauna Loa Solar Observatory, can measure polarimetric signatures of current-carrying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) systems. For the first time, this instrument offers the capability of daily full-Sun observations of the forbidden lines of Fe XIII with high enough spatial resolution and throughput to measure polarimetric signatures of current-carrying MHD systems. By forward-calculating CoMP observables from analytic MHD models of spheromak-type magnetic flux ropes, we show that a predicted observable for such flux ropes oriented along the line of sight is a bright ring of linear polarization surrounding a region where the linear polarization strength is relatively depleted. We present CoMP observations of a coronal cavity possessing such a polarization ring.
Subject(s):Sun: corona, Sun: coronal mass ejections (CMEs), Sun: filaments, Sun: infrared, Sun: magnetic topology
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:An edited version of this article was published by IOP Publishing Ltd. on behalf of the American Astronomical Society. Copyright 2011 the American Astronomical Society.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7639q8q
Publisher's Version: 10.1088/2041-8205/731/1/L1
Author(s):
  • James Dove
  • Sarah Gibson - NCAR/UCAR
  • Laurel Rachmeler - NCAR/UCAR
  • Steven Tomczyk - NCAR/UCAR
  • Philip Judge - NCAR/UCAR
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