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A New Method for Detecting Solar Atmospheric Gravity Waves

Published onAug 18, 2020
A New Method for Detecting Solar Atmospheric Gravity Waves

For the past fifty years, acoustic waves generated near the solar surface have provided a powerful tool for the seismic mapping of the Sun’s internal structure and dynamics. This field of research, known as helioseismology, has provided numerous fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of the Sun’s interior. Interestingly, the convective sources that produce the acoustic waves also produce internal gravity waves that propagate throughout the Sun’s atmosphere. In principle, these waves can unlock the secrets of the Sun’s atmosphere in much the same way as helioseismology revolutionized our view of the Sun’s interior. However, despite ample evidence for their existence, we still do not fully understand the characteristics and overall role of the internal gravity waves for the dynamics and energetics of the solar atmosphere. Here we present a new approach to study the propagation of gravity waves in the solar atmosphere which finally opens the door for seismic mapping of the Sun’s atmosphere. We show some preliminary results based on the analysis of both simulations and real observations, and we outline future developments.

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