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Evidence of Wave Damping at Low Heights in a Polar Coronal Hole

Hahn, Michael; Landi, E.; Savin, Daniel Wolf

We have measured the widths of spectral lines from a polar coronal hole using the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer on board Hinode. Polar coronal holes are regions of open magnetic field and the source of the fast solar wind. We find that the line widths decrease at relatively low heights. Previous observations have attributed such decreases to systematic effects, but we find that such effects are too small to explain our results. We conclude that the line narrowing is real. The non-thermal line widths are believed to be proportional to the amplitude of Alfvén waves propagating along these open field lines. Our results suggest that Alfvén waves are damped at unexpectedly low heights in a polar coronal hole. We derive an estimate on the upper limit for the energy dissipated between 1.1 R ☉ and 1.3 R ☉ and find that it is enough to account for up to 70% of that required to heat the polar coronal hole and accelerate the solar wind.


Also Published In

The Astrophysical Journal

More About This Work

Academic Units
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Published Here
March 22, 2013