EDP Sciences
Science with Hinode
Press Release
Free access
Volume 481, Number 1, April I 2008
Science with Hinode
Page(s) L37 - L40
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20079197
Published online 09 January 2008

A&A 481, L37-L40 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20079197


Zeeman-tomography of the solar photosphere

Three-dimensional surface structures retrieved from Hinode observations
T. A. Carroll and M. Kopf

Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
    e-mail: tcarroll@aip.de

(Received 5 December 2007 / Accepted 21 December 2007)

Aims.The thermodynamic and magnetic field structure of the solar photosphere is analyzed by means of a novel 3-dimensional spectropolarimetric inversion and reconstruction technique.
Methods.On the basis of high-resolution, mixed-polarity magnetoconvection simulations, we used an artificial neural network (ANN) model to approximate the nonlinear inverse mapping between synthesized Stokes spectra and the underlying stratification of atmospheric parameters like temperature, line-of-sight (LOS) velocity and LOS magnetic field. This approach not only allows us to incorporate more reliable physics into the inversion process, it also enables the inversion on an absolute geometrical height scale, which allows the subsequent combination of individual line-of-sight stratifications to obtain a complete 3-dimensional reconstruction (tomography) of the observed area.
Results.The magnetoconvection simulation data, as well as the ANN inversion, have been properly processed to be applicable to spectropolarimetric observations from the Hinode satellite. For the first time, we show 3-dimensional tomographic reconstructions (temperature, LOS velocity, and LOS magnetic field) of a quiet sun region observed by Hinode. The reconstructed area covers a field of approximately $12\,000$ $\times$ $12\,000$ km and a height range of 510 km in the photosphere. An enormous variety of small and large scale structures can be identified in the 3-D reconstructions. The low-flux region ( $B_{\rm mag} = 20$ G) we analyzed exhibits a number of tube-like magnetic structures with field strengths of several hundred Gauss. Most of these structures rapidly loose their strength with height and only a few larger structures can retain a higher field strength to the upper layers of the photosphere.

Key words: radiative transfer -- polarization -- line: formation -- line: profiles -- Sun: photosphere -- Sun: magnetic fields

© ESO 2008