Tracing the Chromospheric and Coronal Magnetic Field with AIA, IRIS, IBIS, and ROSA Data

Markus J. Aschwanden, Kevin Reardon, David Jess

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The aim of this study is to explore the suitability of chromospheric images for magnetic modeling of active regions. We use high-resolutionimages (≈0.2"-0.3"), from the Interferometric Bidimensional Spectrometer in the Ca II 8542 Å line, the Rapid Oscillations in the Solar Atmosphere instrument in the Hα 6563Å line, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph in the 2796Å line, and compare non-potential magnetic field models obtainedfrom those chromospheric images with those obtained from images of the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly in coronal (171 Å, etc.) and inchromospheric (304 Å) wavelengths. Curvi-linear structures are automatically traced in those images with the OCCULT-2 code, to which we forward-fitted magnetic field lines computed with the Vertical-current Approximation Nonlinear Force Free Field code. We find that the chromospheric images: (1) reveal crisp curvi-linear structures (fibrils, loop segments, spicules) that are extremely well-suited for constraining magnetic modeling; (2) that these curvi-linear structures arefield-aligned with the best-fit solution by a median misalignment angle of μ2 ≈ 4°–7° (3) the free energy computed from coronal data may underestimate that obtained from chromospheric data by a factor of ≈2–4, (4) the height range of chromospheric features is confined to h≲4000 km, while coronal features are detected up to h = 35,000 km; and (5) the plasma-β parameter is β ≈ 10^-5 - 10^-1 for all traced features. We conclude that chromospheric images reveal important magnetic structures that are complementary to coronal images and need to be included in comprehensive magnetic field models, something that is currently not accomodated in standard NLFFF codes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number61
Number of pages18
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2016


  • Sun: chromosphere
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Sun: UV radiation


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