The full 3-D vector magnetic field of a solar filament prior to eruption is presented. The filament was observed with the Facility Infrared Spectropolarimeter at the Dunn Solar Telescope in the chromospheric He i line at 10830Å on May 29 and 30, 2017. We inverted the spectropolarimetric observations with the HAnle and ZEeman Light (HAZEL) code to obtain the chromospheric magnetic field. A bimodal distribution of field strength was found in or near the filament. The average field strength was 24 Gauss, but prior to the eruption we find the 90th percentile of field strength was 435 Gauss for the observations on May 29. The field inclination was about 67 degree from the solar vertical. The field azimuth made an angle of about 47 to 65 degree to the spine axis. The results suggest an inverse configuration indicative of a flux rope topology. He i intensity threads were found to be co-aligned with the magnetic field direction. The filament had a sinistral configuration as expected for the southern hemisphere. The filament was stable on May 29, 2017 and started to rise during two observations on May 30, before erupting and causing a minor coronal mass ejection. There was no obvious change of the magnetic topology during the eruption process. Such information on the magnetic topology of erupting filaments could improve the prediction of the geoeffectiveness of solar storms.
Before using three-dimensional (3D) magneto-hydrodynamical (MHD) simulations of the solar photosphere in the determination of elemental abundances, one has to ensure that the correct amount of magnetic flux is present in the simulations. The presence of magnetic flux modifies the thermal structure of the solar photosphere, which affects abundance determinations and the solar spectral irradiance. The amount of magnetic flux in the solar photosphere also constrains any possible heating in the outer solar atmosphere through magnetic reconnection. We compare the polarization signals in disk-center observations of the solar photosphere in quiet-Sun regions with those in Stokes spectra computed on the basis of 3D MHD simulations having average magnetic flux densities of about 20, 56, 112 and 224 G. This approach allows us to find the simulation run that best matches the observations. The observations were taken with the Hinode SpectroPolarimeter (SP), the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter (TIP), the Polarimetric Littrow Spectrograph (POLIS) and the GREGOR Fabry-Pèrot Interferometer (GFPI), respectively. We determine characteristic quantities of full Stokes profiles in a few photospheric spectral lines in the visible (630 nm) and near-infrared (1083 and 1565 nm). We find that the appearance of abnormal granulation in intensity maps of degraded simulations can be traced back to an initially regular granulation pattern with numerous bright points in the intergranular lanes before the spatial degradation. The linear polarization signals in the simulations are almost exclusively related to canopies of strong magnetic flux concentrations and not to transient events of magnetic flux emergence. We find that the average vertical magnetic flux density in the simulation should be less than 50 G to reproduce the observed polarization signals in the quiet Sun internetwork. A value of about 35 G gives the best match across the SP, TIP, POLIS and GFPI observations.
Context. Penumbrae are an important characteristic of sunspots, whose formation is intricately related to the nature of subphotospheric magnetic fields. Aims. We study the formation of a penumbra in a decaying sunspot and compare its properties with those seen during the development of a proto-spot. Methods. High-resolution spectropolarimetric observations of active region NOAA 11283 were obtained from the spectro-polarimeter on board Hinode. These were complemented with full-disk filtergrams of continuum intensity, line-of-sight magnetograms, and dopplergrams from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager at high cadence. Results. The formation of a penumbra in the decaying sunspot occurs after the coalescence of the sunspot with a magnetic fragment/pore, which initially formed in the quiet Sun close to an emerging flux region. At first, a smaller set of penumbral filaments develop near the location of the merger with very bright penumbral grains with intensities of 1.2 I QS , upflows of 4 km s −1 , and a lifetime of 10 h. During the decay of these filaments, a larger segment of a penumbra forms at the location of the coalescence. These new filaments are characterized by nearly supersonic downflows of 6.5 km s −1 that change to a regular Evershed flow nearly 3 h later. Conclusions. The coalescence of the pore with the decaying sunspot provided sufficient magnetic flux for the penumbra to form in the sunspot. The emerging flux region could have played a decisive role in this process because the formation occurred at the location of the merger and not on the opposite side of the sunspot.
The inverse Evershed flow (IEF) is an inflow of material into the penumbra of sunspots in the solar chromosphere that occurs along dark, elongated superpenumbral fibrils extending from about the outer edge of the moat cell to the sunspot. The IEF channels exhibit brightenings in the penumbra, where the supersonic IEF descends to the photosphere causing shock fronts with localized heating. We used an 1-hr time-series of spectroscopic observations of the chromospheric spectral lines of Ca ii IR at 854 nm and Hα at 656 nm taken with the Interferometric BIdimensional Spectrometer at the Dunn Solar Telescope to investigate the temporal evolution of IEF channels. Complementary information on the photospheric magnetic field was obtained from observations with the Facility InfraRed Spectropolarimeter at 1083 nm and the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager. We find that individual IEF channels are long-lived (10-60 min) and only show minor changes in position and flow speed during their life time. Initiation and termination of IEF channels takes several minutes. The IEF channels with line-of-sight velocities of about 10 km s −1 show no lasting impact from transient or oscillatory phenomena with maximal velocity amplitudes of only about 1 km s −1 that run along them. We could not detect any clear correlation of the location and evolution of IEF channels to local magnetic field properties in the photosphere in the penumbra or moving magnetic features in the sunspot moat. Our results support a picture of the IEF as a field-aligned siphon flow along arched loops. From our data we cannot determine if their evolution is controlled by events at the outer end in the moat or at the inner end in the penumbra.
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