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Chromospheric structure in relation to radiation lossesIt is assumed that cool star chromospheres are heated by mechanical energy dissipation that depends quasilinearly on density and cooled by radiation loss and it is shown that the basic properties of chromospheres are determined by the ionization of hydrogen. It is hydrogen ionization that provides the freedom for chromospheres to adjust their radiation losses to balance the prescribed heat input, resulting in an extended region of low temperature gradient. Chromospheric radiation losses in cool stars occur mainly in the strongest spectral lines at wavelengths greater than about 2000 A and the fraction of the chromosphere is effectively thin. The most important lines include Ca II H and K and the infrared triplet and Mg II h and k. The strong lines of other abundant species, are less important because their high excitation energies reduce the collisional excitation rates. Lyman alpha losses are important because of the overwhelming abundance of hydrogen. However, the inability of chromospheres to adjust their Lyman alpha losses limits the geometrical thickness of the effectively thin region in Lyman alpha and limits the total Lyman alpha flux.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Athay, R. G. (National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1981
Publication Information
Publication: Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory 2nd Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, Vol. 1
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19830012575Analytic PrimarySecond Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, volume 1