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Wednesday 11 Jan 2017Observations of MHD Turbulence in Solar Prominences

Dr. Andrew Hillier - University of Exeter

Physics, 4th Floor 14:00-15:00

Turbulence is believed to be a key dynamical process in in many astrophysical systems, playing an important role in many different aspects of solar activity from the dynamo to magnetic reconnection. The motions of plasma in quiescent prominences, as revealed by Hinode observations, display highly complex flows across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, and with the small diffusivity and viscosity of the system, it is no surprise that prominences host turbulence. In this talk I will present my analysis of Hinode SOT Dopplergrams of a quiescent prominence observed on the 2008-09-27. By investigating the spatial and temporal correlations between the line-of-sight velocity fluctuations, it was possible to determine the exponents of the power laws up to high-order in the velocity difference. Finding consistency with both weak MHD turbulence and strong MHD turbulence. I will present some interpretation of these results based on the current theoretical understanding of turbulence, but also highlight areas in which they do not match with theory, and hopefully provide satisfactory explanations as to why this is the case. These results present another piece of the puzzle that is understanding the complex nature of quiescent prominences, and also on the role how turbulence plays in the complex magnetic field found in the solar atmosphere.

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