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Title: Dynamics of Magnetic Flux Elements in the Solar Photosphere
Authors: van Ballegooijen, A. A
Nisenson, P
Noyes, R. W
Löfdahl, M. G
Stein, R. F
Nordlund, Å
Krishnakumar, V
Keywords: Convection;Sun;Corona;Sun:Granulation;Magnetic Fields
Issue Date: Dec-1998
Publisher: The American Astronomical Society
Citation: The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 509, No. 1, pp. 435 - 447
Abstract: The interaction of magnetic fields and convection is investigated in the context of the coronal heating problem. We study the motions of photospheric magnetic elements using a time series of high-resolution G-band and continuum filtergrams obtained at the Swedish Vacuum Solar Telescope at La Palma. The G-band images show bright points arranged in linear structures (``filigree'') located in the lanes between neighboring granule cells. We measure the motions of these bright points using an object tracking technique, and we determine the autocorrelation function describing the temporal variation of the bright point velocity. The correlation time of the velocity is about 100 s. To understand the processes that determine the spatial distribution of the bright points, we perform simulations of horizontal motions of magnetic flux elements in response to solar granulation flows. Models of the granulation flow are derived from the observed granulation intensity images using a simple two-dimensional model that includes both inertia and horizontal temperature gradients; the magnetic flux elements are assumed to be passively advected by this granulation flow. The results suggest that this passive advection model is in reasonable agreement with the observations, indicating that on a timescale of 1 hr the flux tubes are not strongly affected by their anchoring at large depth. Finally, we use potential-field modeling to extrapolate the magnetic and velocity fields to larger height. We find that the velocity in the chromosphere can be locally enhanced at the separatrix surfaces between neighboring flux tubes. The predicted velocities are several km s^-1, significantly larger than those of the photospheric flux tubes. The implications of these results for coronal heating are discussed.
ISSN: 0004 - 637x
Appears in Collections:IIAP Publications

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