Estimating the Temperature and Density of a Spicule from 100 GHz Data Obtained with ALMA

Masumi Shimojo, Tomoko Kawate, Takenori J. Okamoto, Takaaki Yokoyama, Noriyuki Narukage, Taro Sakao, Kazumasa Iwai, Gregory D. Fleishman, Kazunari Shibata

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14 Scopus citations


We succeeded in observing two large spicules simultaneously with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), and the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory. One is a spicule seen in the IRIS Mg ii slit-jaw images and AIA 304 images (Mg ii/304 spicule). The other one is a spicule seen in the 100 GHz images obtained with ALMA (100 GHz spicule). Although the 100 GHz spicule overlapped with the Mg ii/304 spicule in the early phase, it did not show any corresponding structures in the IRIS Mg ii and AIA 304 images after the early phase. It suggests that the spicules are individual events and do not have a physical relationship. To obtain the physical parameters of the 100 GHz spicule, we estimate the optical depths as a function of temperature and density using two different methods. One is using the observed brightness temperature by assuming a filling factor, and the other is using an emission model for the optical depth. As a result of comparing them, the kinetic temperature of the plasma and the number density of ionized hydrogen in the 100 GHz spicule are ∼6800 K and 2.2 × 1010 cm-3. The estimated values can explain the absorbing structure in the 193 image, which appear as a counterpart of the 100 GHz spicule. These results suggest that the 100 GHz spicule presented in this Letter is classified to a macrospicule without a hot sheath in former terminology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL28
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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