Density Diagnostics of Coronal Mass Ejection Cores with the Solar Dynamics Observatory/Atmospheric Imaging Assembly
In this Letter, we investigate the application of the intensity ratio from pairs of narrow-band images from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Imager (EUVI) on board the Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation, and the EUV Imaging Telescope (EIT) on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, to density diagnostics of optically thin plasmas. By inspecting the filtered spectra allowed by each instrument's effective area, we find that ratios between AIA images in the 171 Å and 193 Å channels can be used to determine the plasma electron density at transition region temperatures. This diagnostic potential is due to a pair of O V transitions which dominate the effective spectra of these two channels at temperatures around ≈2.5-3.0 × 105 K. The temperature and electron density ranges where the 171/193 ratio is density sensitive are relevant for the cores of accelerating coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in the inner solar corona. We discuss how AIA series of images can be used for simultaneous temperature and density diagnostics of CME cores.