A Study of Sunspot 3 Minute Oscillations Using ALMA and GST

Yi Chai, Dale E. Gary, Kevin P. Reardon, Vasyl Yurchyshyn

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11 Scopus citations


Waves and oscillations are important solar phenomena, not only because they can propagate and dissipate energy in the chromosphere, but also because they carry information about the structure of the atmosphere in which they propagate. The nature of the 3 minute oscillations observed in the umbral region of sunspots is considered to be an effect of propagation of magnetohydrodynamic waves upward from below the photosphere. We present a study of sunspot oscillations and wave propagation in NOAA Active Region 12470 using an approximately 1 hr long data set acquired on 2015 December 17 by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the Goode Solar Telescope (GST) operating at the Big Bear Solar Observatory, the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory, and the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph. The ALMA data are unique in providing a time series of direct temperature measurements in the sunspot chromosphere. The 2 s cadence of ALMA images allows us to well resolve the 3 minute periods typical of sunspot oscillations in the chromosphere. Fourier analysis is applied to ALMA Band 3 (∼100 GHz, ∼3 mm) and GST Hα data sets to obtain power spectra as well as oscillation phase information. We analyzed properties of the wave propagation by combining multiple wavelengths that probe physical parameters of solar atmosphere at different heights. We find that the ALMA temperature fluctuations are consistent with that expected for a propagating acoustic wave, with a slight asymmetry indicating nonlinear steepening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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