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Atmospheric Gravity Waves in the Magnetized Solar Atmosphere

Presentation #332.03 in the session The Sun and Solar System II.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Atmospheric Gravity Waves in the Magnetized Solar Atmosphere

Atmospheric gravity waves (AGWs) are abundantly generated and excited in the lower solar atmosphere by turbulent convection along with other commonly studied waves, such as acoustic waves. These waves are ubiquitous in various stellar and planetary atmospheres. On Earth, they play a pivotal role in improving our global weather predictions and climate models. On the Sun, AGWs are predicted to reach chromospheric heights, where they can deposit substantial amounts of energy to compensate for radiative losses. Recent numerical simulations have explored how magnetic fields modify the behavior of AGWs and their potential as seismic diagnostics for the average magnetic field.

Using high-resolution, narrowband multi-wavelength ground-based observations taken with IBIS at the Dunn Solar Telescope and space-based data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, we investigate the behavior of these waves throughout the lower solar atmosphere on the quiet Sun. By examining the phase lag from velocity and intensity fluctuations measured at different atmospheric heights, we observe the signatures of upwardly propagating AGWs at disk center up to around the temperature minimum region. We detect unique velocity signatures that have not been clearly observed to date. In the regime of AGWs, our phase analysis of the intensity and velocity perturbations exhibit different overall behavior. Given the weak average magnetic field in our field of view, we find that the observed behavior of AGWs is consistent with the weak field models reported in numerical simulations.

Our ultimate goal is to harness their untapped potential as diagnostics to probe the average magnetic field structure and atmospheric flows in a novel way. In future work, we plan to investigate the behavior and energy flux of AGWs away from disk center and around more magnetic environments. This study will serve as a pilot for future observations of these waves, especially with the 4-meter Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope.

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