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Characterization of Chromospheric Swirls on the Quiet Sun

Presentation #103.03 in the session The Sun and Solar System.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Characterization of Chromospheric Swirls on the Quiet Sun

Vortex flows spanning a wide range of spatial and temporal scales are commonly formed in the solar atmosphere due to the interplay between the plasma and magnetic field. Small-scale vortex flows, as the ones in this study, are commonly called chromospheric swirls for their swirl-like visual imprint seen in the Sun’s middle atmosphere. These rotating, magnetic structures are reminiscent of tornadoes but larger and more powerful. They are rooted to magnetic bright points, which are concentrations of magnetic flux, on the Sun’s surface and propagate upwards throughout the atmosphere. Thus, chromospheric swirls have the ability to channel energy and momentum to the Sun’s upper atmosphere. Using high-resolution, multi-wavelength broadband and narrowband data taken in 2017 and 2018 with ROSA and IBIS at the Dunn Solar Telescope in the Sacramento Mountains, we investigate the formation and morphology of chromospheric swirls found on the quiet Sun. By examining their intensity signatures, we can track how these events evolve throughout the solar atmosphere. We identified 84 candidates, and around 30 of them can be reliably tracked from the lower to middle atmosphere. Two of these candidates have been identified as “twin” or interacting swirls. We measure lifetimes ranging from 2 to 18 minutes and diameters ranging from 1.8 to 7.4 megameters. In future work, we plan to probe the surrounding environment for more insight into their formation and evolution as well as investigate what oscillations are connected to these structures to determine the amount of energy they could transport.

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