High-resolution imaging spectroscopy of two micro-pores and an arch filament system in a small emerging-flux region
1 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
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2 Universität Potsdam, Institut für Physik and Astronomie, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24/25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
3 Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstraße 6, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
Received: 2 December 2015
Accepted: 22 December 2016
Context. Emerging flux regions mark the first stage in the accumulation of magnetic flux eventually leading to pores, sunspots, and (complex) active regions. These flux regions are highly dynamic, show a variety of fine structure, and in many cases live only for a short time (less than a day) before dissolving quickly into the ubiquitous quiet-Sun magnetic field.
Aims. The purpose of this investigation is to characterize the temporal evolution of a minute emerging flux region, the associated photospheric and chromospheric flow fields, and the properties of the accompanying arch filament system. We aim to explore flux emergence and decay processes and investigate if they scale with structure size and magnetic flux contents.
Methods. This study is based on imaging spectroscopy with the Göttingen Fabry-Pérot Interferometer at the Vacuum Tower Telescope, Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife, Spain on 2008 August 7. Photospheric horizontal proper motions were measured with Local correlation tracking using broadband images restored with multi-object multi-frame blind deconvolution. Cloud model (CM) inversions of line scans in the strong chromospheric absorption Hαλ656.28 nm line yielded CM parameters (Doppler velocity, Doppler width, optical thickness, and source function), which describe the cool plasma contained in the arch filament system.
Results. The high-resolution observations cover the decay and convergence of two micro-pores with diameters of less than one arcsecond and provide decay rates for intensity and area. The photospheric horizontal flow speed is suppressed near the two micro-pores indicating that the magnetic field is already sufficiently strong to affect the convective energy transport. The micro-pores are accompanied by a small arch filament system as seen in Hα, where small-scale loops connect two regions with Hα line-core brightenings containing an emerging flux region with opposite polarities. The Doppler width, optical thickness, and source function reach the largest values near the Hα line-core brightenings. The chromospheric velocity of the cloud material is predominantly directed downwards near the footpoints of the loops with velocities of up to 12 km s-1, whereas loop tops show upward motions of about 3 km s-1. Some of the loops exhibit signs of twisting motions along the loop axis.
Conclusions. Micro-pores are the smallest magnetic field concentrations leaving a photometric signature in the photosphere. In the observed case, they are accompanied by a miniature arch filament system indicative of newly emerging flux in the form of Ω-loops. Flux emergence and decay take place on a time-scale of about two days, whereas the photometric decay of the micro-pores is much more rapid (a few hours), which is consistent with the incipient submergence of Ω-loops. Considering lifetime and evolution timescales, impact on the surrounding photospheric proper motions, and flow speed of the chromospheric plasma at the loop tops and footpoints, the results are representative for the smallest emerging flux regions still recognizable as such.
Key words: Sun: chromosphere / Sun: filaments, prominences / methods: observational / instrumentation: interferometers / techniques: high angular resolution / Sun: activity
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