Presentation Open Access

Mechanisms of Plasma Acceleration in Coronal Jets

Soto, Natalia

Thesis supervisor(s)

Reeves, Kathy; Savcheva, Antonia

Jets are small explosions that occur frequently in the Sun possibly driven by the local reconfiguration of the magnetic field, or reconnection. There are two types of coronal jets: standard jets and blowout jets. The purpose of this project is to determine which mechanisms accelerate plasma in two different jets, one that occurred in January 17, 2015 at the disk of the sun and another in October 24, 2015 at the limb. Two possible acceleration mechanisms are chromospheric evaporation and magnetic acceleration. Using SDO/AIA, Hinode/XRT and IRIS data, we create height-time plots, and calculate the velocities of each wavelength for both jets. We calculate the potential magnetic field of the jet and the general region around it to gain a more detailed understanding of its structure, and determine if the jet is likely to be either a standard or blowout jet. Finally, we calculate the magnetic field strength for different heights along the jet spire, and use differential emission measures to calculate the plasma density.   Once we have these two values, we calculate the Alfven speed. When analyzing our results we are looking for certain patterns in our velocities. If the plasma in a jet is accelerated by chromospheric evaporation, we expect the velocities to increase as function of temperature, which is what we observed in the October 24th jet.  The magnetic models for this jet also show the Eiffel Tower shaped structure characteristic of standard jets, which tend to have plasma accelerated by this mechanism. On the other hand, if the acceleration mechanism were magnetic acceleration, we would expect the velocities to be similar regardless of temperature. For the January 17th jet, we saw that along the spire, the velocities where approximately 200 km/s in all wavelengths, but the velocities of hot plasma detected at the base were closer to the Alfven speed, which was estimated to be about 2,000 km/s. These observations suggest that the plasma in the January 17th jet is magnetically accelerated. The magnetic model for this jet needs to be studied further by using a NLFFF magnetic field model and not just the potential magnetic field.

This work supported by the NSF-REU solar physics program at SAO, grant number AGS-1560313 and NASA Grant NNX15AF43G
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