THE FORMATION OF ASYMMETRIC STOKES V PROFILES IN THE PRESENCE OF A MAGNETOPAUSE


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Abstract

A magnetopause that separates two regimes of different flow, additional to the separation of a magnetic field from a field-free plasma, gives rise to the formation of asymmetric Stokes profiles. Using a simple two-layer model atmosphere, where one layer comprises a magnetic field, the other being field-free, it is shown by analytical derivation that a wide variety of Stokes V profiles can be produced, having amplitude asymmetries δa in the range −∞≤δa≤∞. These include two-humped V profiles, which have two lobes of equal sign. For the most simple models, the asymmetry depends on the ratio of continuum intensity to the Planck radiation intensity of the magnetic layer at the wavelength of the spectral line under consideration, and on the line depth. Two-humped profiles (|δa|>1) require the temperature of the magnetic layer to surpass the temperature of the line-core forming region, implying a temperature inversion, so that the V profile is partially in emission. The confrontation of this formation scenario with properties of observed one-lobe profiles of quiet-Sun network regions is inconclusive due to insufficient spatial resolution and lack of a sufficient sample of simultaneously recorded Stokes spectral lines of varying line depths. It seems, however, to be in good agreement with the observed frequent occurrence of abnormal V profiles of the very strong Nai D2 and D2 spectral line. A possible observational verification for the present formation scenario of abnormal Stokes V profiles and a novel method of Stokes inversion are discussed.

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