Volume 409, Number 3, October III 2003
|Page(s)||1127 - 1134|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
On the fractal dimension of small-scale magnetic structures in the Sun
Universitäts-Sternwarte, Geismarlandstraße 11, 37083 Göttingen, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, Max-Planck-Straße 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
Corresponding author: K. Janßen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 29 July 2003
We compare, by means of fractal analyses, the shapes of observed small-scale magnetic structures on the Sun with those of magnetic features resulting from numerical simulations of magnetoconvection. The observations were obtained with the “Göttingen” Fabry-Perot spectrometer at the Vacuum Tower Telescope at the Observatorio del Teide on Tenerife. Magnetograms with 04–05 spatial resolution were obtained from two-dimensional Stokes V polarimetry in the 6302.5 Å line and by image reconstruction with speckle methods. The simulations of magnetoconvection was performed with the MURAM code. It solves the time-dependent MHD equations for a compressible, partly ionized plasma including radiative transfer in LTE. To determine the fractal dimensions the perimeter-area relation is used. We discuss the influence of seeing and noise in the fractal dimension D of the observed magnetograms. A dependence of D on the distance from disk center could not be found. The observations give for a pixel size corresponding to 0105, while for the numerical simulations for a pixel size of 20.83 km. If we use a yardstick adapted to the spatial resolution the observations give the dimension in close agreement with the simulations. This agreement is remarkable since the pixel sizes and spatial resolutions of the simulations and of the observations differ by a factor of 15. The finding supports the view of self-similarity of solar magnetic structures over a large range of scales. In addition, it demonstrates the realism of the simulations and suggests that all important physical processes are included. We discuss our results in comparison with other investigations.
Key words: Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: photosphere / Sun: granulation
© ESO, 2003
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