TRACE Observation of Damped Coronal Loop Oscillations: Implications for Coronal Heating

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Science  06 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5429, pp. 862-864
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5429.862

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The imaging telescope on board the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft observed the decaying transversal oscillations of a long [(130 ± 6) × 106meters], thin [diameter (2.0 ± 0.36) × 106meters], bright coronal loop in the 171 angstrom FeIXemission line. The oscillations were excited by a solar flare in the adjacent active region. The decay time of the oscillations is 14.5 ± 2.7 minutes for an oscillation with a frequency 3.90 ± 0.13 millihertz. The coronal dissipation coefficient is estimated to be eight to nine orders of magnitude larger than the theoretically predicted classical value. The larger dissipation coefficient may solve existing difficulties with wave heating and reconnection theories.

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