Link between the chromospheric network and magnetic structures of the corona
Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, 79104 Freiburg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 11 September 2006
Context. Recent work suggested that the traditional picture of the corona above the quiet Sun being rooted in the magnetic concentrations of the chromospheric network alone is strongly questionable.
Aims. Building on that previous study we explore the impact of magnetic configurations in the photosphere and the low corona on the magnetic connectivity from the network to the corona. Observational studies of this connectivity are often utilizing magnetic field extrapolations. However, it is open to which extent such extrapolations really represent the connectivity found on the Sun, as observations are not able to resolve all fine scale magnetic structures. The present numerical experiments aim at contributing to this question.
Methods. We investigated random salt-and-pepper-type distributions of kilo-Gauss internetwork flux elements carrying some 1015 to 1017 Mx, which are hardly distinguishable by current observational techniques. These photospheric distributions are then extrapolated into the corona using different sets of boundary conditions at the bottom and the top. This allows us to investigate the fraction of network flux which is connected to the corona, as well as the locations of those coronal regions which are connected to the network patches.
Results. We find that with current instrumentation one cannot really determine from observations, which regions on the quiet Sun surface, i.e. in the network and internetwork, are connected to which parts of the corona through extrapolation techniques. Future spectro-polarimetric instruments, such as with Solar B or Gregor, will provide a higher sensitivity, and studies like the present one could help to estimate to which extent one can then pinpoint the connection from the chromosphere to the corona.
Key words: Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: atmosphere / Sun: corona
© ESO, 2006