The first ever image of the full solar corona in the Fe XI789.2 nm spectral line was acquired during the total solar eclipse of 2006 March 29. Several striking features stand out in the processed image: (1) The emission extended out to at least 3 R⊙ in streamers. (2) A bubble-like structure, occupying a cone of about 45° and reaching out to 1 R⊙ above the limb, was observed southward of a bright active region complex close to the limb. (3) Localized intensity enhancements were found in different parts of the corona at heights ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 R⊙. (4) Striations extended out to the edge of the field of view above an almost north-south-oriented prominence. Comparison with the corre-sponding white-light image taken simultaneously during the eclipse showed no evidence for these localized enhancements, and the bubble-like structure and striations, while present, did not stand out in the same manner. The extent of the Fe XI emission is attributed to the dominance of radiative over collisional excitation in the formation of that spectral line. The localized intensity enhancements, observed only in Fe XI and not in white light, are a signature of localized increases in Fe+10 density relative to electron density, These are the first observations to show direct evidence of localized heavy ion density enhancements in the extended corona. They point to the importance of implementing observations of the Fe XI 789.2 nm line with existing or future coronagraphs for the exploration of the physical processes controlling the behavior of heavy ions in different source regions of the solar wind.
|Number of pages||12|
|Issue number||1 I|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Jul 2007|
- Sun: corona