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The temperature structure and pressure balance of magnetic loops in active regions

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EUV observations show many active region loops in lines formed at temperatures between 104K and 2×l06K. The brightest loops are associated with flux tubes leading to the umbrae of sunspots. It is shown that the high visibility of certain loops in transition region lines is due principallly to a sharp radial decrease of temperature to chromospheric values toward the loop axis. The plasma density of these cool loops is not significantly greater than in the hot gas immediately surrounding it. Consequently, the internal gas pressure of the cool material is clearly lower. The hot material immediately surrounding the cool loops is generally denser than the external corona by a factor 3–4. When the active region is examined in coronal lines, this hot high pressure plasma shows up as loops that are generally parallel to the cool loops but significantly displaced laterally. In general the loop phenomenon in an active region is the result of temperature variations by two orders of magnitude and density variations of around a factor five between adjacent flux tubes in the corona.

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Foukal, P. The temperature structure and pressure balance of magnetic loops in active regions. Sol Phys 43, 327–336 (1975).

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