Volume 505, Number 2, October II 2009
|Page(s)||771 - 790|
|Published online||22 July 2009|
High-resolution spectro-polarimetry of a flaring sunspot penumbra*
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 446-71, Korea
Accepted: 4 June 2009
We present simultaneous photospheric and chromospheric observations of the trailing sunspot in NOAA 10904 during a weak flare eruption (GOES magnitude B7.8), obtained with the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST) in La Palma, Canary Islands. High-resolution H images show a typical two-ribbon structure that has been hitherto only known for larger flares, and the flare appears in a confined region that is discernible by a bright border. The underlying photosphere shows a disturbed penumbral structure with intersecting branches of penumbral filaments. High-resolution Doppler- and vector-magnetograms exhibit oppositely directed Evershed flows and magnetic field vectors in the individual penumbral branches, resulting in several regions of magnetic azimuth discontinuity and several islands where the vertical magnetic field is reversed. The discontinuity regions are co-spatial with the locations of the onset of the flare ribbons. From the results, we conclude that the confined flare region is detached from the global magnetic field structure by a separatrix marked by the bright border visible in H. We further conclude that the islands of reversed vertical field appear because of flux emergence and that the strong magnetic shear appearing in the regions of magnetic azimuth discontinuity triggers the flare.
Key words: Sun: flares / Sun: sunspots / Sun: magnetic fields / techniques: polarimetric / techniques: high angular resolution
© ESO, 2009
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