Evidence for Parametric Decay Instability in the Lower Solar Atmosphere

Hahn, Michael; Fu, Xiangrong; Savin, Daniel Wolf

We find evidence for the first observation of the parametric decay instability (PDI) in the lower solar atmosphere. In particular, we find that the power spectrum of density fluctuations near the solar transition region resembles the power spectrum of the velocity fluctuations but with the frequency axis scaled up by about a factor of 2. These results are from an analysis of the Si IV lines observed by the Interface Region Imaging Spectrometer in the transition region of a polar coronal hole. We also find that the density fluctuations have radial velocity of about 75 km s−1 and that the velocity fluctuations are much faster with an estimated speed of 250 km s−1, as is expected for sound waves and Alfvén waves, respectively, in the transition region. Theoretical calculations show that this frequency relationship is consistent with those expected from PDI for the plasma conditions of the observed region. These measurements suggest an interaction between sound waves and Alfvén waves in the transition region, which is evidence for the parametric decay instability.


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Also Published In

The Astrophysical Journal

More About This Work

Academic Units
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Published Here
March 15, 2023