3 years ago

Quiescent prominence dynamics observed with the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope . II. Prominence Bubble Boundary Layer Characteristics and the Onset of a Coupled Kelvin-Helmholtz Rayleigh-Taylor Instability.

Thomas Berger, Wei Liu, Andrew Hillier

We analyze solar quiescent prominence bubble characteristics and instability dynamics using Hinode/Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) data. We measure bubble expansion rate, prominence downflows, and the profile of the boundary layer brightness and thickness as a function of time. The largest bubble analyzed rises into the prominence with a speed of about 1.3 km/s until it is destabilized by a localized shear flow on the boundary. Boundary layer thickness grows gradually as prominence downflows deposit plasma onto the bubble with characteristic speeds of 20 - 35 km/s. Lateral downflows initiate from the thickened boundary layer with characteristic speeds of 25 - 50 km/s, "draining" the layer of plasma. Strong shear flow across one bubble boundary leads to an apparent coupled Kelvin-Helmholtz Rayleigh-Taylor (KH-RT) instability. We measure shear flow speeds above the bubble of 10 km/s and infer interior bubble flow speeds on the order of 100 km/s. Comparing the measured growth rate of the instability to analytic expressions, we infer a magnetic flux density across the bubble boundary of ~10^{-3} T (10 gauss) at an angle of ~70 degrees to the prominence plane. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that prominence bubbles are caused by magnetic flux that emerges below a prominence, setting up the conditions for RT, or combined KH-RT, instability flows that transport flux, helicity, and hot plasma upward into the overlying coronal magnetic flux rope.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1707.05265

DOI: arXiv:1707.05265v2

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