A Hot Downflowing Model Atmosphere for Umbral Flashes and the Physical Properties of Their Dark Fibrils

Henriques, V. M. J.; Mathioudakis, M.; Socas-Navarro, H.; de la Cruz Rodríguez, J.
Bibliographical reference

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 845, Issue 2, article id. 102, 12 pp. (2017).

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We perform non-LTE inversions in a large set of umbral flashes, including the dark fibrils visible within them, and in the quiescent umbra by using the inversion code NICOLE on a set of full Stokes high-resolution Ca ii λ8542 observations of a sunspot at disk center. We find that the dark structures have Stokes profiles that are distinct from those of the quiescent and flashed regions. They are best reproduced by atmospheres that are more similar to the flashed atmosphere in terms of velocities, even if with reduced amplitudes. We also find two sets of solutions that finely fit the flashed profiles: a set that is upflowing, featuring a transition region that is deeper than in the quiescent case and preceded by a slight dip in temperature, and a second solution with a hotter atmosphere in the chromosphere but featuring downflows close to the speed of sound at such heights. Such downflows may be related, or even dependent, on the presence of coronal loops, rooted in the umbra of sunspots, as is the case in the region analyzed. Similar loops have been recently observed to have supersonic downflows in the transition region and are consistent with the earlier “sunspot plumes,” which were invariably found to display strong downflows in sunspots. Finally, we find, on average, a magnetic field reduction in the flashed areas, suggesting that the shock pressure is moving field lines in the upper layers.
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