A Search for High-Frequency Coronal Brightness Variations in the 21 August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

P. Rudawy, K. Radziszewski, A. Berlicki, K. J. H. Phillips, D. B. Jess, P. H. Keys, F. P. Keenan

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We report on a search for short-period intensity variations in the green-line (Fe xiv 530.3 nm) emission from the solar corona during the21 August 2017 total eclipse viewed from Idaho in the United States. Our experiment was performed with a much more sensitive detection system, and with better spatial resolution, than on previous occasions (1999 and 2001 eclipses), allowing fine details of quiet coronal loops and an active-region loop system to be seen. A guided 200-mm-aperture Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope was used with a state-of-the-art CCD camera having 16-bit intensity discrimination and a field-of-view (0.43°× 0.43°) that encompassed approximately one third of the visible corona. The camera pixel size was 1.55 arcseconds, while the seeing during the eclipse enabled features of {≈} 2 arcseconds (1450km on the Sun) to be resolved. A total of 429 images were recorded during a 122.9 second portion of the totality at a frame rate of 3.49s^{-1}. In the analysis, we searched particularly for short-period intensity oscillations and travelling waves, since theory predicts fast-mode magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) waves with short periods may be important in quiet coronal and active-region heating. Allowing first for various instrumental and photometric effects, we used a wavelet technique to search for periodicities in some 404,000 pixels in the frequency range 0.5 - 1.6 Hz (periods 2 seconds to 0.6 seconds). We also searched for travelling waves along some 65 coronal structures. However, we found no statistically significant evidence in either. This negative result considerably refines the limit that we obtained from our previous analyses, and it indicates that future searches for short-period coronal waves may be better directed towards Doppler shifts as well as intensity oscillations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages15
JournalSolar Physics
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2019


  • Corona
  • active
  • Heating
  • coronal
  • Waves
  • magnetohydrodynamic
  • plasma
  • propagation


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