Recent advancements in coronal imaging capabilities and image processing techniques, have led to new diagnostic capabilities for the exploration of the solar atmosphere during total solar eclipses. In particular, the suite of Fe spectral lines in the visible and near infrared, namely Fe XIV 5303, Fe X 6374 A, Fe XI 7892 A, and Fe XIII 10747 A, together with continuum white light emission, continue to unveil the intricate topology of the magnetic field, density structures and temperature distribution in the solar corona. These spectral lines are also yielding new insights into the role of heavy ions as diagnostics of the coronal plasma. This presentation will focus on the surprising results from the eclipse observations of 2006 and 2008. With observations in H alpha, neutral helium He I 5876 A and the Fe lines representing four different ionization states of iron, it is shown how the distribution of neutrals and heavy ions in select magnetic structures in the corona, provides new insights into the physics of the coronal plasma, with implications for models of coronal heating processes. These observations also shed light on the source regions and properties of neutrals and minor ions measured in interplanetary space.
|Cyhoeddwyd - 01 Rhag 2008