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Scientists Uncover Origins of Dynamic Jets on Sun's Surface

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Scientists Uncover Origins of the Sun's Swirling Spicules

Observing spicules has been a thorny problem for scientists who want to understand how solar material and energy move through and away from the sun. Spicules are transient, forming and collapsing over the course of just five to 10 minutes. These tenuous structures are also difficult to study from Earth, where the atmosphere often blurs our telescopes' vision.
A team of scientists has been working on this particular model for nearly a decade, trying again and again to create a version that would create spicules. Earlier versions of the model treated the interface region, the lower solar atmosphere, as a hot gas of electrically charged particles - or more technically, a fully ionized plasma. But the scientists knew something was missing because they never saw spicules in the simulations.
The key, the scientists realized, was neutral particles. They were inspired by Earth's own ionosphere, a region of the upper atmosphere where interactions between neutral and charged particles are responsible for many dynamic processes.

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Title: Can spicules be detected at disc centre in broad-band Ca II H filter imaging data ?
Authors: C. Beck, R. Rezaei, K.G. Puschmann

We estimate the formation height range contributing to broad-band and narrow-band filter imaging data in Ca II H to investigate whether spicules can be detected in such observations at the centre of the solar disc. We apply spectral filters of FWHMs from 0.03 nm to 1 nm to observed Ca line profiles to simulate Ca imaging data. We estimate the relative intensity contributions of off-limb and on-disc structures. We compare the synthetic Ca filter imaging data with intensity maps of Ca spectra at different wavelengths and temperature maps at different optical depths. We determine the intensity response function for the wavelengths covered by the filters of different FWHM.
The intensity emitted off the solar limb is about 5% of the intensity at disc centre. For a 0.3 nm-wide Ca II H filter, up to about 1/3 of the off-limb intensity comes from emission in Hepsilon. On the disc, only about 15% of the intensity transmitted through a broad-band filter comes from the line-core region. No traces of elongated fibrillar structures are visible in imaging data at disc centre, opposite to the line-core images of the Ca spectra. The response function for a 0.3 nm-wide filter peaks at about 200 km. Relative contributions from atmospheric layers above 800 km are about 10%. The inversion results suggest that the slightly enhanced emission around the photospheric magnetic network in broad-band Ca imaging data is caused by a thermal canopy at a height of about 600 km. Broad-band Ca II H imaging data do not trace upper chromospheric structures such as spicules in observations at the solar disc because of the too small relative contribution of the line core to the total wavelength-integrated filter intensity.

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