The multi-component field topology of sunspot penumbrae
A diagnostic tool for spectropolarimetric measurements
European Space Agency, Research and Scientific Support Department, c/o NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Code 612.5, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA e-mail: email@example.com
2 Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstr. 6, 79104 Freiburg, Germany e-mail: [schliche;cbeck]@kis.uni-freiburg.de
3 Arnold Sommerfeld Center for Theoretical Physics, Theresienstr. 37, 80333 München, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 15 September 2006
Context.Sunspot penumbrae harbor highly structured magnetic fields and flows. The moving flux tube model offers an explanation for several observed phenomena, e.g. the Evershed effect and bright penumbral grains.
Aims.A wealth of information can be extracted from spectropolarimetric observations. In order to deduce the structure of the magnetic field in sunspot penumbrae, detailed forward modeling is necessary. On the one hand, it gives insight into the sensitivity of various spectral lines to different physical scenarios. On the other hand, it is a very useful tool to guide inversion techniques. In this work, we present a generalized 3D geometrical model that embeds an arbitrarily shaped flux tube in a stratified magnetized atmosphere.
Methods.The new semi-analytical geometric model serves as a frontend for a polarized radiative transfer code. The advantage of this model is that it preserves the discontinuities of the physical parameters across the flux tube boundaries. This is important for the detailed shape of the emerging Stokes Profiles and the resulting net circular polarization (NCP).
Results.(a) The inclination of downflows in the outer penumbra must be shallower than approximately ; (b) observing the limb-side NCP of sunspots in the 1564.8 nm line offers a promising way to identify a reduced magnetic field strength in flow channels; (c) the choice of the background atmosphere can significantly influence the shape of the Stokes profiles, but does not change the global characteristics of the resulting NCP curves for the tested atmospheric models.
Key words: Sun: sunspots / Sun: photosphere / Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: atmosphere / Sun: infrared
© ESO, 2006