Distribution of electric currents in sunspots from photosphere to corona

Authors
Gosain, Sanjay; Démoulin, Pascal; Lopez Fuentes, Marcelo Claudio
Publication Year
2014
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
We present a study of two regular sunspots that exhibit nearly uniform twist from the photosphere to the corona. We derive the twist parameter in the corona and in the chromosphere by minimizing the difference between the extrapolated linear force-free field model field lines and the observed intensity structures in the extreme-ultraviolet images of the Sun. The chromospheric structures appear more twisted than the coronal structures by a factor of two. Further, we derive the vertical component of electric current density, jz , using vector magnetograms from the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope (SOT). The spatial distribution of jz has a zebra pattern of strong positive and negative values owing to the penumbral fibril structure resolved by Hinode/SOT. This zebra pattern is due to the derivative of the horizontal magnetic field across the thin fibrils; therefore, it is strong and masks weaker currents that might be present, for example, as a result of the twist of the sunspot. We decompose jz into the contribution due to the derivatives along and across the direction of the horizontal field, which follows the fibril orientation closely. The map of the tangential component has more distributed currents that are coherent with the chromospheric and coronal twisted structures. Moreover, it allows us to map and identify the direct and return currents in the sunspots. Finally, this decomposition of jz is general and can be applied to any vector magnetogram in order to better identify the weaker large-scale currents that are associated with coronal twisted/sheared structures.
Fil: Gosain, Sanjay. National Solar Observatory; Estados Unidos
Fil: Démoulin, Pascal. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Observatoire de Paris; Francia
Fil: Lopez Fuentes, Marcelo Claudio. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciónes Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Ciudad Universitaria. Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio. - Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio; Argentina
Subject
magnetic fields
Sun: corona
Sun: photosphere
sunspots
Astronomía
Ciencias Físicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/17400