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Title: THE FORMATION OF IRIS DIAGNOSTICS. I. A QUINTESSENTIAL MODEL ATOM OF Mg II AND GENERAL FORMATION PROPERTIES OF THE Mg II h and k LINES

Abstract

NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) space mission will study how the solar atmosphere is energized. IRIS contains an imaging spectrograph that covers the Mg II h and k lines as well as a slit-jaw imager centered at Mg II k. Understanding the observations will require forward modeling of Mg II h and k line formation from three-dimensional (3D) radiation-MHD models. This paper is the first in a series where we undertake this forward modeling. We discuss the atomic physics pertinent to h and k line formation, present a quintessential model atom that can be used in radiative transfer computations, and discuss the effect of partial redistribution (PRD) and 3D radiative transfer on the emergent line profiles. We conclude that Mg II h and k can be modeled accurately with a four-level plus continuum Mg II model atom. Ideally radiative transfer computations should be done in 3D including PRD effects. In practice this is currently not possible. A reasonable compromise is to use one-dimensional PRD computations to model the line profile up to and including the central emission peaks, and use 3D transfer assuming complete redistribution to model the central depression.

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1029, Blindern, N-0315 Oslo (Norway)
  2. NSO/Sacramento Peak, P.O. Box 62, Sunspot, NM 88349-0062 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22121815
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 772; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CALCULATION METHODS; EMISSION; IMAGES; K SHELL; MAGNESIUM; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; NASA; ONE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; RADIANT HEAT TRANSFER; SIMULATION; SOLAR ATMOSPHERE; SPECTROMETERS; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS

Citation Formats

Leenaarts, J., Pereira, T. M. D., Carlsson, M., De Pontieu, B., and Uitenbroek, H., E-mail: jorritl@astro.uio.no, E-mail: tiago.pereira@astro.uio.no, E-mail: mats.carlsson@astro.uio.no, E-mail: bdp@lmsal.com, E-mail: huitenbroek@nso.edu. THE FORMATION OF IRIS DIAGNOSTICS. I. A QUINTESSENTIAL MODEL ATOM OF Mg II AND GENERAL FORMATION PROPERTIES OF THE Mg II h and k LINES. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/772/2/89.
Leenaarts, J., Pereira, T. M. D., Carlsson, M., De Pontieu, B., & Uitenbroek, H., E-mail: jorritl@astro.uio.no, E-mail: tiago.pereira@astro.uio.no, E-mail: mats.carlsson@astro.uio.no, E-mail: bdp@lmsal.com, E-mail: huitenbroek@nso.edu. THE FORMATION OF IRIS DIAGNOSTICS. I. A QUINTESSENTIAL MODEL ATOM OF Mg II AND GENERAL FORMATION PROPERTIES OF THE Mg II h and k LINES. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/772/2/89.
Leenaarts, J., Pereira, T. M. D., Carlsson, M., De Pontieu, B., and Uitenbroek, H., E-mail: jorritl@astro.uio.no, E-mail: tiago.pereira@astro.uio.no, E-mail: mats.carlsson@astro.uio.no, E-mail: bdp@lmsal.com, E-mail: huitenbroek@nso.edu. 2013. "THE FORMATION OF IRIS DIAGNOSTICS. I. A QUINTESSENTIAL MODEL ATOM OF Mg II AND GENERAL FORMATION PROPERTIES OF THE Mg II h and k LINES". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/772/2/89.
@article{osti_22121815,
title = {THE FORMATION OF IRIS DIAGNOSTICS. I. A QUINTESSENTIAL MODEL ATOM OF Mg II AND GENERAL FORMATION PROPERTIES OF THE Mg II h and k LINES},
author = {Leenaarts, J. and Pereira, T. M. D. and Carlsson, M. and De Pontieu, B. and Uitenbroek, H., E-mail: jorritl@astro.uio.no, E-mail: tiago.pereira@astro.uio.no, E-mail: mats.carlsson@astro.uio.no, E-mail: bdp@lmsal.com, E-mail: huitenbroek@nso.edu},
abstractNote = {NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) space mission will study how the solar atmosphere is energized. IRIS contains an imaging spectrograph that covers the Mg II h and k lines as well as a slit-jaw imager centered at Mg II k. Understanding the observations will require forward modeling of Mg II h and k line formation from three-dimensional (3D) radiation-MHD models. This paper is the first in a series where we undertake this forward modeling. We discuss the atomic physics pertinent to h and k line formation, present a quintessential model atom that can be used in radiative transfer computations, and discuss the effect of partial redistribution (PRD) and 3D radiative transfer on the emergent line profiles. We conclude that Mg II h and k can be modeled accurately with a four-level plus continuum Mg II model atom. Ideally radiative transfer computations should be done in 3D including PRD effects. In practice this is currently not possible. A reasonable compromise is to use one-dimensional PRD computations to model the line profile up to and including the central emission peaks, and use 3D transfer assuming complete redistribution to model the central depression.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/772/2/89},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 772,
place = {United States},
year = 2013,
month = 8
}
  • NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) small explorer mission will study how the solar atmosphere is energized. IRIS contains an imaging spectrograph that covers the Mg II h and k lines as well as a slit-jaw imager centered at Mg II k. Understanding the observations requires forward modeling of Mg II h and k line formation from three-dimensional (3D) radiation-magnetohydrodynamic (RMHD) models. This paper is the second in a series where we undertake this modeling. We compute the vertically emergent h and k intensity from a snapshot of a dynamic 3D RMHD model of the solar atmosphere, and investigate whichmore » diagnostic information about the atmosphere is contained in the synthetic line profiles. We find that the Doppler shift of the central line depression correlates strongly with the vertical velocity at optical depth unity, which is typically located less than 200 km below the transition region (TR). By combining the Doppler shifts of the h and k lines we can retrieve the sign of the velocity gradient just below the TR. The intensity in the central line depression is anti-correlated with the formation height, especially in subfields of a few square Mm. This intensity could thus be used to measure the spatial variation of the height of the TR. The intensity in the line-core emission peaks correlates with the temperature at its formation height, especially for strong emission peaks. The peaks can thus be exploited as a temperature diagnostic. The wavelength difference between the blue and red peaks provides a diagnostic of the velocity gradients in the upper chromosphere. The intensity ratio of the blue and red peaks correlates strongly with the average velocity in the upper chromosphere. We conclude that the Mg II h and k lines are excellent probes of the very upper chromosphere just below the TR, a height regime that is impossible to probe with other spectral lines. They also provide decent temperature and velocity diagnostics of the middle chromosphere.« less
  • A triplet of subordinate lines of Mg ii exists in the region around the h and k lines. In solar spectra these lines are seen mostly in absorption, but in some cases can become emission lines. The aim of this work is to study the formation of this triplet, and investigate any diagnostic value they can bring. Using 3D radiative magnetohydrodynamic simulations of quiet Sun and flaring flux emergence, we synthesize spectra and investigate how spectral features respond to the underlying atmosphere. We find that emission in the lines is rare and is typically caused by a steep temperature increasemore » in the lower chromosphere (above 1500 K, with electron densities above 10{sup 17} m{sup −3}). In both simulations the lines are sensitive to temperature increases taking place at column masses ≳5 · 10{sup −4} g cm{sup −2}. Additional information can also be inferred from the peak-to-wing ratio and shape of the line profiles. Using observations from NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph we find both absorption and emission line profiles with similar shapes to the synthetic spectra, which suggests that these lines represent a useful diagnostic that complements the Mg ii h and k lines.« less
  • We use 3D radiation magnetohydrodynamic models to investigate how the thermodynamic quantities in the simulation are encoded in observable quantities, thus exploring the diagnostic potential of the C ii 133.5 nm lines. We find that the line core intensity is correlated with the temperature at the formation height but the correlation is rather weak, especially when the lines are strong. The line core Doppler shift is a good measure of the line-of-sight velocity at the formation height. The line width is both dependent on the width of the absorption profile (thermal and non-thermal width) and an opacity broadening factor ofmore » 1.2–4 due to the optically thick line formation with a larger broadening for double peak profiles. The C ii 133.5 nm lines can be formed both higher and lower than the core of the Mg ii k line depending on the amount of plasma in the 14–50 kK temperature range. More plasma in this temperature range gives a higher C ii 133.5 nm formation height relative to the Mg ii k line core. The synthetic line profiles have been compared with Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph observations. The derived parameters from the simulated line profiles cover the parameter range seen in observations but, on average, the synthetic profiles are too narrow. We interpret this discrepancy as a combination of a lack of plasma at chromospheric temperatures in the simulation box and too small non-thermal velocities. The large differences in the distribution of properties between the synthetic profiles and the observed ones show that the C ii 133.5 nm lines are powerful diagnostics of the upper chromosphere and lower transition region.« less
  • The C ii 133.5 nm multiplet has been observed by NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) in unprecedented spatial resolution. The aims of this work are to characterize these new observations of the C ii lines, place them in context with previous work, and to identify any additional value the C ii lines bring when compared with other spectral lines. We make use of wide, long exposure IRIS rasters covering the quiet Sun and an active region. Line properties such as velocity shift and width are extracted from individual spectra and analyzed. The lines have a variety of shapes (mostlymore » single-peak or double-peak), are strongest in active regions and weaker in the quiet Sun. The ratio between the 133.4 and 133.5 nm components is always less than 1.8, indicating that their radiation is optically thick in all locations. Maps of the C ii line widths are a powerful new diagnostic of chromospheric structures, and their line shifts are a robust velocity diagnostic. Compared with earlier quiet Sun observations, we find similar absolute intensities and mean line widths, but smaller redshifts; this difference can perhaps be attributed to differences in spectral resolution and spatial coverage. The C ii intensity maps are somewhat similar to those of transition region lines, but also share some features with chromospheric maps such as those from the Mg ii k line, indicating that they are formed between the upper chromosphere and transition region. C ii intensity, width, and velocity maps can therefore be used to gather additional information about the upper chromosphere.« less
  • The O i 135.56 nm line is covered by NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) small explorer mission which studies how the solar atmosphere is energized. We study here the formation and diagnostic potential of this line by means of non-local thermodynamic equilibrium modeling employing both 1D semi-empirical and 3D radiation magnetohydrodynamic models. We study the basic formation mechanisms and derive a quintessential model atom that incorporates essential atomic physics for the formation of the O i 135.56 nm line. This atomic model has 16 levels and describes recombination cascades through highly excited levels by effective recombination rates. The ionizationmore » balance O i/O ii is set by the hydrogen ionization balance through charge exchange reactions. The emission in the O i 135.56 nm line is dominated by a recombination cascade and the line is optically thin. The Doppler shift of the maximum emission correlates strongly with the vertical velocity in its line forming region, which is typically located at 1.0–1.5 Mm height. The total intensity of the line emission is correlated with the square of the electron density. Since the O i 135.56 nm line is optically thin, the width of the emission line is a very good diagnostic of non-thermal velocities. We conclude that the O i 135.56 nm line is an excellent probe of the middle chromosphere, and compliments other powerful chromospheric diagnostics of IRIS such as the Mg ii h and k lines and the C ii lines around 133.5 nm.« less