American University
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Sun-as-a-star spectral irradiance observations of transiting active regions

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-05, 13:02 authored by Shin Toriumi, Vladimir S. Airapetian, Hugh S. Hudson, Carolus J. Schrijver, Mark C.M. Cheung, Marc L. DeRosa

Major solar flares are prone to occur in active-region (AR) atmospheres associated with large, complex, dynamically evolving sunspots. This points to the importance of monitoring the evolution of starspots, not only in visible but also in ultraviolet (UV) and X-rays, in understanding the origin and occurrence of stellar flares. To this end, we perform spectral irradiance analysis on different types of transiting solar ARs by using a variety of full-disk synoptic observations. The target events are an isolated sunspot, spotless plage, and emerging flux in prolonged quiet-Sun conditions selected from the past decade. We find that the visible continuum and total solar irradiance become darkened when the spot is at the central meridian, whereas it is bright near the solar limb; UV bands sensitive to the chromosphere correlate well with the variation of total unsigned magnetic flux in the photosphere; amplitudes of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft X-ray increase with the characteristic temperature, whose light curves are flat-topped due to their sensitivity to the optically thin corona; the transiting spotless plage does not show the darkening in the visible irradiance, while the emerging flux produces an asymmetry in all light curves about the central meridian. The multiwavelength Sun-as-a-star study described here indicates that the time lags between the coronal and photospheric light curves have the potential to probe the extent of coronal magnetic fields above the starspots. In addition, EUV wavelengths that are sensitive to temperatures just below 1 MK sometimes show antiphased variations, which may be used for diagnosing plasmas around starspots.



Astrophysical Journal


Astrophysical Journal, Volume 902, Issue 1, 10 October 2020, Article number 36.


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