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
American Astronomical Society
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
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−1 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−1 . Lateral downflows initiate from the thickened boundary layer with characteristic speeds of 25 − 50 km s−1 , “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−1 and infer interior bubble flow speeds on the order of 100 km s−1 . 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◦ 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
TEB was supported by NASA contracts NNM07AA01C (Solar-B FPP), NNG04EA00C (SDO/AIA) while at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL), and by The National Weather Service (NWS) Office of Science and Technology Integration (OSTI) while at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A.H. was supported by his STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship grant number ST/L00397X/2. W.L. was supported by NASA HGI grant NNX15AR15G and NASA contract NNG09FA40C (IRIS) at LMSAL.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from American Astronomical Society via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 850 (1), article 60