The Effect of Isotopic Splitting on the Bisector and Inversions of the Solar Ca II 854.2 nm Line
Nordita Astrophysics seminars
Wednesday 02 April 2014
to 14:15 at
Jorrit Leenaarts (Solar Physics Institute, SU)
The Ca II 854.2 nm spectral line is a common diagnostic of the solar chromosphere. The average line profile shows an asymmetric core, and its bisector shows a characteristic inverse-C shape. The line actually consists of six components with slightly different wavelengths depending on the isotope of calcium. This isotopic splitting of the line has been taken into account in studies of non-solar stars, but never for the Sun. We performed non-LTE radiative transfer computations from three models of the solar atmosphere and show that the line-core asymmetry and inverse C-shape of the bisector of the 854.2 nm line can be explained by isotopic splitting. We confirm this finding by analyzing observations and showing that the line asymmetry is present irrespective of conditions in the solar atmosphere. Finally, we show that inversions based on the Ca II 854.2 nm line should take the isotopic splitting into account, otherwise the inferred atmospheres will contain erroneous velocity gradients and temperatures.