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Paper: Solar prominences: formation, force balance, internal dynamics
Volume: 470, 370 Years of Astronomy in Utrecht
Page: 37
Authors: Keppens, R.; Xia, C.; Chen, P.; Blokland, J. W. S.
Abstract: Prominences represent fascinating large-scale, cool and dense structures, suspended in the hot and tenuous solar corona above magnetic neutral lines. Starting from magnetohydrostatic force balance arguments, their differing magnetic topology distinguishes Kippenhahn–Schlüter (1957) versus Kuperus–Raadu (1974) types. In both, the concave-upward parts of magnetic field lines or ‘dips’ host and support prominence material via the magnetic tension force against gravity. We highlight recent insights into prominence physics, where we start from modern magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium computations, allowing to mimic flux-rope embedded multi-layer prominence configurations of Kuperus–Raadu type. These can be analysed for linear stability, and by quantifying the eigenfrequencies of flux-surface localized modes, charting out the continuous parts of the MHD spectrum, we pave the way for more detailed prominence seismology. Perhaps the most elusive aspect of prominence physics is their sudden formation, and we demonstrate recent achievements in both rigid field, and fully multi-dimensional simulation efforts. The link with the thermal instability of optically thin radiative plasmas is clarified, and we show the first evaporation-condensation model study where we can demonstrate how the formed prominence stays in a force balanced state, which can be compared to the original Kippenhahn–Schlüter type magnetohydrostatic model.
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