Visible light and ultraviolet observations of coronal structures: physical properties of an equatorial streamer and modelling of the F corona
S. Dolei ; D. Spadaro ; R. Ventura ; - ASI Sponsor
Apr - 2015
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201425387

journal : Astronomy & Astrophysics

Volume : 577 ; type: Article Journal

The present work studies the characteristics of an equatorial streamer visible above the east limb of the Sun on March 2008, during the most recent minimum of solar activity. We analysed the visible light coronagraphic images of SOHO/LASCO and the ultraviolet observations in the H I Lyα spectral line obtained by SOHO/UVCS, and exploited the Doppler dimming effect of the coronal Lyα line to derive the outflow velocity profile of the scattering neutral hydrogen atoms in the streamer region. Taking advantage of the synergy between visible light and ultraviolet observations, we were able to determine all the properties of the coronal structure. In particular, the actual extent of the streamer along the line of sight has been evaluated for the first time. In so doing, the solar wind outflow velocity turned out to be the only free parameter in the theoretical modelling of the Lyα intensity. We found nearly static conditions below 3.5 R⊙ along the streamer axis, whereas the solar wind flows at velocities from 40 km s-1 to 140 km s-1 in the altitude range 2.5–5.0 R⊙ along the southern boundary of the streamer. We also derived the intensity distribution of the F coronal component in the LASCO C2 field of view, by combining total and polarized brightness data. Finally, we investigated the dependence of the Lyα resonant scattering process on the kinetic temperature of the coronal neutral hydrogen atoms and found that the value of this temperature mostly affects the scattering process at low heliocentric distances, where the solar wind flows with low velocity.

keywords : Sun: corona / solar wind / Sun: UV radiation

Notes : This work was partly supported by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana throughcontract ASI/INAF No. I/013/12/0.