The Small-Scale Structure and Motions Underneath an On-Disk Solar Prominence

by Jack Jenkins

Hosted by Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) on March 19, 2020


Solar prominences are typically considered clouds of plasma suspended, bound, and governed within the solar corona solely by their host magnetic field. That said, recent studies have suggested we reconsider the (widely-adopted!) assumption that prominence mass has a negligible role to play in the (in)stability of this host magnetic field. Specifically, such studies have suggested that the contribution of mass to the global equilibrium of quiescent prominences is quite the opposite. Of course, the plethora of observations of the vertical motions within quiescent prominences (typically interpreted as occurrences of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability) have already suggested the importance of mass on smaller scales. The further suggestion that these falling ‘plasmoids’ may then successfully drain from the prominence-hosting magnetic field and subsequently cease to contribute to the global equilibrium is, therefore, of particular interest. We present the latest results of our ongoing study that combines high-resolution ground-based observations (H-α, Ca II 8542, He I 10830) taken at the Dunn Solar Telescope (DST) with multiple inversion methods that involve a varying degree of assumption/complexity. I will briefly present the instrument set-up and resulting observations of an on-disk prominence from 29 May 2017. Each inversion approach and their individual results will then be discussed, before the construction of one possible framework that accounts for all of the observations. I will then finish with details of a tentative detection of an RTI-like structure located beneath the observed prominence.