Context. High resolution movies in 193 Å from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) show apparent rotation in the leg of a prominence observed during a coordinated campaign. Such structures are commonly referred to as tornadoes. Time-distance intensity diagrams of the AIA data show the existence of oscillations suggesting that the structure is rotating.
Aims: The aim of this paper is to understand if the cool plasma at chromospheric temperatures inside the tornado is rotating around its central axis.
Methods: The tornado was also observed in Hα with a cadence of 30 s by the MSDP spectrograph, operating at the Solar Tower in Meudon. The MSDP provides sequences of simultaneous spectra in a 2D field of view from which a cube of Doppler velocity maps is retrieved.
Results: The Hα Doppler maps show a pattern with alternatively blueshifted and redshifted areas of 5 to 10'' wide. Over time the blueshifted areas become redshifted and vice versa, with a quasi-periodicity of 40 to 60 min. Weaker amplitude oscillations with periods of 4 to 6 min are superimposed onto these large period oscillations.
Conclusions: The Doppler pattern observed in Hα cannot be interpreted as rotation of the cool plasma inside the tornado. The Hα velocity observations give strong constraints on the possible interpretations of the AIA tornado.