Inversions of synthetic umbral flashes: effects of the scanning time on the inferred atmospheres [SSA]

The use of instruments that record narrow band images at selected wavelengths is a common approach in solar observations. They allow the scanning of a spectral line by sampling the Stokes profiles with 2D images at each line position, but require a compromise between spectral resolution and temporal cadence. We evaluate the impact of the time-dependent acquisition of different wavelengths on the inversion of spectropolarimetric profiles from chromospheric lines during umbral flashes. Simulations of non-linear wave propagation in a sunspot were performed with the code MANCHA. Synthetic Stokes parameters in the Ca II 8542 A line in NLTE were computed for an umbral flash using the code NICOLE. Artificial profiles with the same wavelength coverage and temporal cadence from reported observations were constructed and inverted. The inferred atmospheric stratifications were compared with the original models. The inferred atmospheres provide a reasonable characterization of the thermodynamic properties of the atmosphere during most of the phases of the umbral flash. Only at the early stages of the flash, when the shock wave reaches the formation height of the line, the Stokes profiles present apparent wavelength shifts and other spurious deformations. These features are misinterpreted by the inversion code, which can return unrealistic atmospheric models from a good fit of the Stokes profiles. The misguided results include flashed atmospheres with strong downflows, even though the simulation exhibits upflows during the umbral flash, and large variations in the magnetic field strength. Our analyses validate the inversion of Stokes profiles acquired by sequentially scanning certain selected wavelengths of a line profile, even in the case of rapidly-changing events such as umbral flashes. However, the inversions are unreliable during a short period at the development phase of the flash.

Read this paper on arXiv…

T. Felipe, H. Socas-Navarro and D. Przybylski
Thu, 15 Feb 18

Comments: Accepted for publication in A&A