TWO-DIMENSIONAL PHOTOMETRIC ANALYSIS OF EMISSION LINES IN QUIESCENT PROMINENCES


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Abstract

Emission lines from quiescent prominences were observed simultaneously through narrow-band interference filters, thus integrating the total line intensities without the use of a spectrograph. Simultaneous exposures (50 ms) on three electronically connected CCD cameras at the 70 cm VTT on Tenerife assured almost identical influence of the Earth's atmosphere and a spatial resolution of ≤ 1 arc sec. The resulting spatially high-resolution two-dimensional images in Hβ, Hα, and Ca+8542, calibrated in units of the disk-center intensities, allow a two-dimensional mapping of emission ratios yielding relevant physical parameters. The emission relation between Hα and Hβ, which depends on the total optical thickness, confirms earlier photometric results from spectra, however, with a large sample of data points from six prominences. It demonstrates the saturation effects towards brighter prominences or prominence locations. The relation between Ca+8542 and Hβ, which depends on the gas pressure, is found to vary between different prominences but is nearly constant within one prominence. Its mean spatial variation of ≤ 30% within one prominence may be interpreted in terms of a magnetic field with variations of ≤5%. The brightness distribution in most prominences is not smooth but indicates preferred values, which are interpreted as superpositions of several fine structures.

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