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Quasi-periodic Energy Release and Jets at the Base of Solar Coronal Plumes

AuthorKumar, Pankaj; Karpen, Judith; Uritsky, Vadim; Deforest, Craig; Raouafi, Nour; DeVore, Richard;
KeywordsParker Data Used; Jets; Solar magnetic reconnection; Solar wind; Solar coronal plumes; 870; 1504; 1534; 2039; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
AbstractCoronal plumes are long, ray-like, open structures that have been considered as possible sources of the solar wind. Their origin in the largely unipolar coronal holes has long been a mystery. Earlier spectroscopic and imaging observations revealed blueshifted plasma and propagating disturbances (PDs) in plumes that are widely interpreted in terms of flows and/or propagating slow-mode waves, but these interpretations (flows versus waves) remain under debate. Recently we discovered an important clue about plume internal structure: dynamic filamentary features called plumelets, which account for most of the plume emission. Here we present high-resolution observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory/Atmospheric Imaging Assembly and the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph that revealed numerous, quasi-periodic, tiny jets (so-called jetlets) associated with transient brightening, flows, and plasma heating at the chromospheric footpoints of the plumelets. By analogy to larger coronal jets, these jetlets are most likely produced within the plume base by magnetic reconnection between closed and open flux at stressed 3D null points. The jetlet-associated brightenings are in phase with plumelet-associated PDs, and vary with a period of \raisebox-0.5ex\textasciitilde3-5 minutes, which is remarkably consistent with the photospheric/chromospheric p-mode oscillation. This reconnection at the open-closed boundary in the chromosphere/transition region is likely modulated or driven by local manifestations of the global p-mode waves. The jetlets extend upward to become plumelets, contribute mass to the solar wind, and may be sources of the switchbacks recently detected by the Parker Solar Probe.
Year of Publication2022
Number of Pages21
Date Publishedjul