Solar Physics

, Volume 288, Issue 2, pp 567–583 | Cite as

Measuring the Magnetic-Field Strength of the Quiet Solar Corona Using “EIT Waves”

  • D. M. Long
  • D. R. Williams
  • S. Régnier
  • L. K. Harra
Coronal Magnetometry


Variations in the propagation of globally propagating disturbances (commonly called “EIT waves”) through the low solar corona offer a unique opportunity to probe the plasma parameters of the solar atmosphere. Here, high-cadence observations of two “EIT wave” events taken using the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) are combined with spectroscopic measurements from the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) onboard the Hinode spacecraft and used to examine the variability of the quiet coronal magnetic-field strength. The combination of pulse kinematics from SDO/AIA and plasma density from Hinode/EIS is used to show that the magnetic-field strength is in the range ≈ 2 – 6 G in the quiet corona. The magnetic-field estimates are then used to determine the height of the pulse, allowing a direct comparison with theoretical values obtained from magnetic-field measurements from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard SDO using global-scale PFSS and local-scale extrapolations. While local-scale extrapolations predict heights inconsistent with prior measurements, the agreement between observations and the PFSS model indicates that “EIT waves” are a global phenomenon influenced by global-scale magnetic field.


Corona, quiet Coronal seismology Waves, propagation Magnetic fields, corona 



The authors wish to thank the anonymous referee whose comments improved the article. Hinode is a Japanese mission developed and launched by ISAS/JAXA, collaborating with NAOJ as a domestic partner, NASA and STFC (UK) as international partners. Scientific operation of the Hinode mission is conducted by the Hinode science team organised at ISAS/JAXA. This team mainly consists of scientists from institutes in the partner countries. Support for the post-launch operation is provided by JAXA and NAOJ (Japan), STFC (UK), NASA, ESA and NSC (Norway). SDO/AIA data are courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA science team. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme under the grant agreement No. 284461 (eHEROES project).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Long
    • 1
  • D. R. Williams
    • 1
  • S. Régnier
    • 2
  • L. K. Harra
    • 1
  1. 1.Mullard Space Science LaboratoryUniversity College LondonDorkingUK
  2. 2.Jeremiah Horrocks InstituteUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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