Abstract Prominence plumes are evacuated upflows that emerge from bubbles below prominences, whose formation mechanism is still unclear. Here we present a detailed study of plumes in a quiescent prominence using the high-resolution Hα filtergrams at the line center as well as line wing at ±0.4 Å from the New Vacuum Solar Telescope. Enhancements of brightening, blue shifts, and turbulence at the fronts of plumes are found during their formation. Some large plumes split at their heads and finger-shaped structures are formed between them. Blue-shifted flows along the bubble-prominence interface are found before and during the plume formation. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that prominence plumes are related to coupled Kelvin-Helmholtz and Rayleigh-Taylor (KH/RT) instabilities. Plume splittings and fingers are evidence of RT instability, and the flows may increase the growth rate of KH/RT instabilities. However, the significant turbulence at plume fronts may suggest that the RT instability is triggered by the plumes penetrating into the prominence. In this scenario, extra mechanisms are necessary to drive the plumes.
Keywords instabilities — methods: data analysis — Sun: filaments, prominences
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