Above the noise: the search for periodicities in the inner heliosphere

James Threlfall*, Ineke De Moortel, Thomas Conlon

*Corresponding author for this work

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Remote sensing of coronal and heliospheric periodicities can provide vital insight into the local conditions and dynamics of the solar atmosphere. We seek to trace long (one hour or longer) periodic oscillatory signatures (previously identified above the limb in the corona by, e.g., Telloni et al. in Astrophys. J.767, 138, 2013) from their origin at the solar surface out into the heliosphere. To do this, we combined on-disk measurements taken by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and concurrent extreme ultra-violet (EUV) and coronagraph data from one of the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft to study the evolution of two active regions in the vicinity of an equatorial coronal hole over several days in early 2011. Fourier and wavelet analysis of signals were performed. Applying white-noise-based confidence levels to the power spectra associated with detrended intensity time series yields detections of oscillatory signatures with periods from 6 – 13 hours in both AIA and STEREO data. As was found by Telloni et al. (2013), these signatures are aligned with local magnetic structures. However, typical spectral power densities all vary substantially as a function of period, indicating spectra dominated by red (rather than white) noise. Contrary to the white-noise-based results, applying global confidence levels based on a generic background-noise model (allowing a combination of white noise, red noise, and transients following Auchère et al. in Astrophys. J.825, 110, 2016) without detrending the time series uncovers only sporadic, spatially uncorrelated evidence of periodic signatures in either instrument. Automating this method to individual pixels in the STEREO/COR coronagraph field of view is non-trivial. Efforts to identify and implement a more robust automatic background noise model fitting procedure are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number165
Number of pages26
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number11
Early online date31 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Corona, active
  • Magnetic fields, corona
  • Oscillations, solar
  • Solar wind, theory


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