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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2006 Feb 15;364(1839):417-32; discussion 432.

Coronal magnetohydrodynamic waves and oscillations: observations and quests.

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  • 1Lockheed Martin ATC, Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory, Building 252, Organization ADBS, 3251 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


Coronal seismology, a new field of solar physics that emerged over the last 5 years, provides unique information on basic physical properties of the solar corona. The inhomogeneous coronal plasma supports a variety of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) wave modes, which manifest themselves as standing waves (MHD oscillations) and propagating waves. Here, we briefly review the physical properties of observed MHD oscillations and waves, including fast kink modes, fast sausage modes, slow (acoustic) modes, torsional modes, their diagnostics of the coronal magnetic field, and their physical damping mechanisms. We discuss the excitation mechanisms of coronal MHD oscillations and waves: the origin of the exciter, exciter propagation, and excitation in magnetic reconnection outflow regions. Finally, we consider the role of coronal MHD oscillations and waves for coronal heating, the detectability of various MHD wave types, and we estimate the energies carried in the observed MHD waves and oscillations: Alfvénic MHD waves could potentially provide sufficient energy to sustain coronal heating, while acoustic MHD waves fall far short of the required coronal heating rates.

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