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The Significance of the Transition Region in AIA Channels: Modeling and Observations

Published onAug 18, 2020
The Significance of the Transition Region in AIA Channels: Modeling and Observations

We investigate the relative contributions from the transition region and corona of coronal loops observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Using EBTEL (Enthalpy-Based Thermal Evolution of Loops) hydrodynamic simulations, we model loops with multiple lengths and energy fluxes heated randomly by events drawn from power-law distributions with different slopes and minimum event sizes to investigate how each of these parameters influences observable loop properties. We generate AIA intensities from the corona and transition region for each realization. The variations within and between models generated with these different parameters illustrate the sensitivity of narrowband imaging to the details of coronal heating. We then analyze the transition region and coronal emission from a number of observed active regions and find broad agreement with the trends in the models. We find that in both models and observations, the transition region brightness is significant, often greater than the coronal brightness in all six “coronal” AIA channels. These results highlight the use of narrowband observations and the importance of properly considering the transition region in investigations of coronal heating.


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