The polytropic index of solar coronal plasma in sunspot fan loops and its temperature dependence

S. Krishna Prasad, J. O. Raes, T. Van Doorsselaere, N. Magyar, D. B. Jess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

583 Downloads (Pure)


Observations of slow magneto-acoustic waves have been demonstrated to possess a number of applications in coronal seismology. Determination of the polytropic index ($\gamma$) is one such important application. Analysing the amplitudes of oscillations in temperature and density corresponding to a slow magneto-acoustic wave, the polytropic index in the solar corona has been calculated and based on the obtained value it has been inferred that thermal conduction is highly suppressed in a very hot loop in contrast to an earlier report of high thermal conduction in a relatively colder loop. In this study, using SDO/AIA data, we analysed slow magneto-acoustic waves propagating along sunspot fan loops from 30 different active regions and computed polytropic indices for several loops at multiple spatial positions. The obtained $\gamma$ values vary from 1.04$\pm$0.01 to 1.58$\pm$0.12 and most importantly display a temperature dependence indicating higher $\gamma$ at hotter temperatures. This behaviour brings both the previous studies to agreement and perhaps implies a gradual suppression of thermal conduction with increase in temperature of the loop. The observed phase shifts between temperature and density oscillations, however, are substantially larger than that expected from a classical thermal conduction and appear to be influenced by a line-of-sight integration effect on the emission measure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number149
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 04 Dec 2018


  • Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'The polytropic index of solar coronal plasma in sunspot fan loops and its temperature dependence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this