The Solar Transition Region

Overview

The solar transition region that spans the temperature range from about 20,000 to 1,000,000 K separates the solar chromosphere from the corona. All energy that heats the corona and powers the solar wind must pass through this part of the solar atmosphere. This book summarizes recent ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet observations of the transition region, the empirical models derived from them, and the physical models that try to explain both the observations and the empirical models. The observational focus is ...

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Overview

The solar transition region that spans the temperature range from about 20,000 to 1,000,000 K separates the solar chromosphere from the corona. All energy that heats the corona and powers the solar wind must pass through this part of the solar atmosphere. This book summarizes recent ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet observations of the transition region, the empirical models derived from them, and the physical models that try to explain both the observations and the empirical models. The observational focus is on quiet solar transition region observations made with Skylab and subsequent rocket and satellite experiments. The book also presents a unified discussion of the analysis of ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet spectroscopic data including the determination of the emission measure and density and temperature diagnostics. This will be useful to astrophysicists who are confronting high-resolution ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet data from astrophysical plasmas for the first time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521382618
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/1993
  • Series: Cambridge Astrophysics Series
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Historical Overview 1
1.2 The UV and EUV Solar Spectrum 4
1.3 The Outer Layers of the Solar Atmosphere 7
1.4 Scope of this Book 14
2 Emission-Line Spectroscopy 17
2.1 Atomic Processes in the Transition Region 17
2.2 Formation of Optically-Thin Emission Lines 19
2.3 Excitation 20
2.4 Ionization 26
2.5 Abundances 34
2.6 Radiation 37
2.7 Opacity 40
2.8 Diagnostics 41
3 Emission-Line Intensity Observations 51
3.1 Disk Observations 51
3.2 Limb Observations 56
3.3 Temporal Observations 60
3.4 Relation to Chromospheric Fine Structure 62
3.5 Relation to the Magnetic Field 67
3.6 Relation to Coronal Structure 69
4 Physical Conditions 74
4.1 Methods of Calculating Emission Measures 74
4.2 Emission Measure Structure of the Transition Region 79
4.3 Abundances 81
4.4 Density Diagnostics 84
4.5 Temperature Diagnostics 108
5 High-Resolution Spectroscopy 114
5.1 Emission-Line Profiles 114
5.2 Line Width Observations 116
5.3 Doppler Shifts 129
5.4 Non-Gaussian Line Profiles 141
5.5 Temporal Variations 151
5.6 Diagnostic Implications of a Dynamic Transition Region 157
6 Empirical Transition Region Models 165
6.1 Transforming Spectroscopic Data into Empirical Models 165
6.2 Effect of Inhomogeneous Structures 173
6.3 Consequences of the Empirical Models 182
6.4 Empirical Energy Balance 185
6.5 Examining the Energy Balance Directly Using the Emission Measure 190
6.6 Observed Structure and Energy Balance 193
7 Physical Transition Region Models 196
7.1 Role of the Magnetic Field 196
7.2 Model Equations 200
7.3 Static Models 203
7.4 Steady Flow Models 212
7.5 Dynamic Transition Region Models 219
7.6 Cool Loop Models 224
7.7 Additional Physics 232
8 The Transition Region in Perspective 238
8.1 Stellar Transition Regions 238
8.2 Physical Models and Observed Structure 248
References 256
Author Index 268
Subject Index 273
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