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Title: Analysis of a fragmenting sunspot using hinode observations
Authors: Louis, R. E
Ravindra, B
Mathew, S. K
Bellot Rubio, L. R
Bayanna, A. R
Venkatakrishnan, P
Keywords: Sun: photosphere;Sunspots;Sun: surface magnetism;Techniques: photometric;Techniques: polarimetric
Issue Date: 10-Aug-2012
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Citation: The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 755, No. 1, 16
Abstract: We employ high-resolution filtergrams and polarimetric measurements from Hinode to follow the evolution of a sunspot for eight days starting on 2007 June 28. The imaging data were corrected for intensity gradients, projection effects, and instrumental stray light prior to the analysis. The observations show the formation of a light bridge at one corner of the sunspot by a slow intrusion of neighboring penumbral filaments. This divided the umbra into two individual umbral cores. During the light bridge formation, there was a steep increase in its intensity from 0.28 to 0.7 I/subQS/ in nearly 4 hr, followed by a gradual increase to quiet-Sun (QS) values in 13 hr. This increase in intensity was accompanied by a large reduction in the field strength from 1800 G to 300 G. The smaller umbral core gradually broke away from the parent sunspot nearly two days after the formation of the light bridge, rendering the parent spot without a penumbra at the location of fragmentation. The penumbra in the fragment disappeared first within 34 hr, followed by the fragment whose area decayed exponentially with a time constant of 22 hr. In comparison, the parent sunspot area followed a linear decay rate of 0.94 Mm/sup2/ hr/sup−1/. The depleted penumbra in the parent sunspot regenerated when the inclination of the magnetic field at the penumbra–QS boundary became within 40/sup0/ from being completely horizontal and this occurred near the end of the fragment’s lifetime. After the disappearance of the fragment, another light bridge formed in the parent which had similar properties as the fragmenting one, but did not divide the sunspot. The significant weakening in field strength in the light bridge along with the presence of granulation is suggestive of strong convection in the sunspot, which might have triggered the expulsion and fragmentation of the smaller spot. Although the presence of QS photospheric conditions in sunspot umbrae could be a necessary condition for fragmentation, it is not a sufficient one.
Description: Open Access
ISSN: 0004-637X
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Appears in Collections:IIAP Publications

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