Recycling of the Solar Corona's Magnetic Field

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61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Magnetic fields play a dominant role in the atmospheres of the Sun and other Sun-like stars. Outside sunspot regions, the photosphere of the so-called quiet Sun contains myriads of small-scale magnetic concentrations, with strengths ranging from the detection limit of similar to10(16) Mx up to similar to3x10(20) Mx. The tireless motion of these magnetic flux concentrations, along with the continual appearance and disappearance of opposite-polarity pairs of fluxes, releases a substantial amount of energy that may be associated with a whole host of physical processes in the solar corona, not least the enigma of coronal heating. We find here that the timescale for magnetic flux to be remapped in the quiet-Sun corona is, surprisingly, only 1.4 hr (around 1/10 of the photospheric flux recycling time), implying that the quiet-Sun corona is far more dynamic than previously thought. Besides leading to a fuller understanding of the origins of magnetically driven phenomena in our Sun's corona, such a process may also be crucial for the understanding of stellar atmospheres in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L81-L84
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume612
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2004

Keywords

  • Sun : activity
  • Sun : atmosphere
  • Sun : magnetic fields
  • CURRENT SHEETS
  • FLUX
  • CONNECTION
  • MODEL
  • RECONNECTION
  • CANCELLATION
  • REGIONS
  • NETWORK
  • SUN

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