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Astron. Astrophys. 342, 867-880 (1999)

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3-D magnetic configurations supporting prominences

III. Evolution of fine structures observed in a filament channel

G. Aulanier 1, P. Démoulin 1, N. Mein 1, L. van Driel-Gesztelyi 1,2, P. Mein 1 and B. Schmieder 1,3

1 Observatoire de Paris, section Meudon, DASOP/LPSH, F-92195 Meudon Principal Cedex, France
2 Konkoly Observatory, Budapest, Pf. 67, H-1525 Hungary
3 University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1029, Blindern, N-0315 Oslo, Norway

Received 22 June 1998 / Accepted 29 October 1998


On September 25[FORMULA] 1996, a quiescent filament located near the center disc (S2, E5) was observed on the German VTT (Tenerife) with the MSDP instrument, in the H[FORMULA] line center and wings. SOHO/MDI line-of-sight magnetograms were co-aligned with the MSDP images, showing the position and evolution of the lateral feet of the filament in the vicinity of the parasitic magnetic polarities observed in the filament channel.

Using the assumptions developed in the previous papers of this series related to the reconstruction of the 3-D magnetic configuration of filaments, we perform "linear magnetohydrostatic" extrapolations (taking into account the effects of plasma pressure and gravity) on the SOHO/MDI magnetograms. The main hypothesis is the presence of a twisted flux-tube located above the photospheric inversion line.

Assuming that the parameters of the model do not need to be significantly modified during the evolution of the configuration for a duration of 1 day, we have shown that the 3-D distribution of dipped field lines is well correlated with H[FORMULA] dark absorbing features in the filament channel: the filament itself, its lateral feet and some of the surrounding dark fibrils. In this way we confirm what was suggested in our earlier papers, i.e. that the feet are composed of the dipped portions of some field lines, which form a continuous pattern from the corona to the photosphere. We propose the same explanation for the magnetic configuration of some of the dark H[FORMULA] fibrils in the channel. We show that the plasma effects are not responsible for the existence of most of the magnetic dips, however their inclusion helps to get a better correspondence between the model and the observations. We find that the average H[FORMULA] Doppler velocities associated with the filament and with the chromospheric fibrils is of the order of a few hundred m s-1 (though it can go locally up to 3 km s-1 in the filament). These upward velocities are consistent with a quasi-static evolution of the magnetic configuration and with the support of dense plasma in magnetic dips.

Key words: Sun: prominences – Sun: magnetic fields – Sun: filaments – Sun: chromosphere – Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)

Send offprint requests to: G. Aulanier

Correspondence to: aulanier@mesopa.obspm.fr

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: February 23, 1999