A statistical analysis of the SOT-Hinode observations of solar spicules and their wave-like behavior - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles New Astronomy Year : 2011

A statistical analysis of the SOT-Hinode observations of solar spicules and their wave-like behavior


Spicules are an important very dynamical and rather cool structure extending between the solar surface and the corona. They are partly filling the space inside the chromosphere and they are surrounded by a transition thin layer. New space observations taken with the SOT of the Hinode mission shed some light on their still mysterious formation and dynamics. Here we restrict the analysis to the most radial and the most interesting polar spicules situated at the base of the fast solar wind of coronal holes. We consider a first important parameter of spicules as observed above the solar visible limb: their apparent diameter as a function of the height above the limb which determines their aspect ratio and leads to the discussion of their magnetic origin using the flux tube approximation. We found that indeed spicules show a whole range of diameters, including unresolved "interacting spicules" (I-S), depending of the definition chosen to characterize this ubiquitous dynamical phenomenon occurring into a low coronal surrounding. Superposition effects along the line of sight have to be taken into account in order to correctly measure individual spicules and look at I-S. We take advantage of the so-called mad-max operator to reduce these effects and improve the visibility of these hair-like features. An excellent time sequence of images obtained above a polar region with the Hinode SOT through the HCaII filter with a cadence of 8 s was selected for analysis. 1-D Fourier amplitude spectra (AS) made at different heights above the limb are shown for the first time. A definite signature in the 0.18-0.25 Mm range exists, corresponding to the occurrence of the newly discovered type II spicules and, even more impressively, large Fourier amplitudes are observed in the 0.3-1.2 Mm range of diameters and spacing, in rough agreement with what historical works were reporting. Additionally, some statistically significant behavior, based on AS computed for different heights above the limb, is discussed. "Time slice or x- t diagrams" revealing the dynamical behavior of spicules are also analyzed. They show that most of spicules have multiple structures (similarly to the doublet spicules) and they show impressive transverse periodic fluctuations which were interpreted as upward kink or Alfven waves. Evidence of the helical motion in spicules is now well evidenced, the typical periods of the apparent oscillation being around 120 s. A fine analysis of the time-slice diagram as a function of the effective heights shows an interesting new feature near the 2 Mm height. We speculate on the interpretation of this feature as being a result of the dynamical specificities of the spicule helical motion as seen in these unprecedented high resolution HCaII line emission time series.

Dates and versions

insu-03645945 , version 1 (19-04-2022)



E. Tavabi, S. Koutchmy, A. Ajabshirizadeh. A statistical analysis of the SOT-Hinode observations of solar spicules and their wave-like behavior. New Astronomy, 2011, 16, pp.296-305. ⟨10.1016/j.newast.2010.11.005⟩. ⟨insu-03645945⟩
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