Transient downflows associated with the intensification of small-scale magnetic features and bright point formation
2011 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 529, A79- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Context. Small-scale magnetic features are present everywhere in the solar photosphere. Theoretical models, numerical calculations, and simulations describing the formation of these features have existed for a few decades, but there are only a few observational studies in direct support of the simulations. In particular, there is a lack of high resolution spectropolarimetric observations capturing the formation of small-scale magnetic features. Aims. In this study we present the evolution of small-scale magnetic features with a spatial resolution close to 0 ''. 15 and compare these observations with those predicted by numerical simulations and also with previous observational work of a similar nature. Methods. We analyze a 40 min time sequence of full Stokes spectropolarimetric 630.25 nm data from a plage region near the Sun center. We use line-of-sight velocities and magnetic field measurements obtained using Milne-Eddington inversion techniques with and without stray-light compensation along with measured continuum and line minimum intensities. We discuss the results in relation to earlier observations and simulations. Results. We present eight cases involving strong transient downflows and magnetic field intensification. All cases studied are associated with the formation of a bright point in the continuum. In three out of the eight cases we find the presence of weak opposite polarity field in close proximity to the downflow. Conclusions. Our data are consistent with earlier simulations describing flux tube collapse, but the transition to a state with stronger field appears transient and short-lived, rather than resulting in a permanent field intensification. Three cases of weak opposite polarity field found adjacent to the downflows do not appear related to reconnection but may be related to overturning convection pulling down some field lines and leading to up/down serpentine field, as seen in some simulations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 529, A79- p.
Sun: photosphere, Sun: granulation, Sun: faculae, plages, Sun: surface magnetism
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68502DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201016016ISI: 000289557200087OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-68502DiVA: diva2:473702
authorCount :12012-01-072012-01-042012-01-07Bibliographically approved