Observations and Implications of Large-Amplitude Longitudinal Oscillations in a Solar Filament

Friday, 19 December 2014
Judith T Karpen1, Manuel Luna Bennasar2, Kalman Joshua Knizhnik3, Karin Muglach4, Holly Robin Gilbert1, Therese Ann Kucera1, Vadim M Uritsky5 and Tilaye Tadesse Asfaw1, (1)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)Istituto de Astrofisico de Canarias, Las Palmas, Tenerife, Spain, (3)Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States, (4)Artep Inc., Ellicott City, MD, United States, (5)Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, United States
On 20 August 2010 an energetic disturbance triggered large-amplitude longitudinal oscillations in a large fraction of a nearby filament. The triggering mechanism appears to be episodic jets connecting the energetic event with the filament threads. We analyzed this periodic motion to characterize the underlying physics of the oscillation as well as the filament properties. The results support our previous theoretical conclusions that the restoring force of large-amplitude longitudinal oscillations is solar gravity, and the damping mechanism is the ongoing accumulation of mass onto the oscillating threads. Based on our previous work, we used the fitted parameters to determine the magnitude and radius of curvature of the dipped magnetic field along the filament, as well as the mass accretion rate onto the filament threads. These derived properties are nearly uniform along the filament, indicating a remarkable degree of homogeneity throughout the filament channel. Moreover, the estimated mass accretion rate implies that the footpoint heating responsible for the thread formation, according to the thermal nonequilibrium model, agrees with previous coronal heating estimates. We also estimated the magnitude of the energy released in the nearby event by studying the dynamic response of the filament threads, and concluded that the initiating event is likely to be a microflare. Using a nonlinear force-free field extrapolation of the photospheric magnetogram to estimate the coronal magnetic structure, we determined the possible connectivity between the jet source and the oscillating prominence segments. We will present the results of this investigation and discuss their implications for filament structure and heating.

This work was supported by NASA’s H-SR program.