Volume 532, August 2011
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||05 August 2011|
The brightness of magnetic field concentrations in the quiet Sun
Institute for Solar Physics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, AlbaNova University Center, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
2 Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
Received: 22 October 2010
Accepted: 8 July 2011
In addition to the “facular” brightening of active regions, the quiet Sun also contains a small scale magnetic field with associated brightenings in continuum radiation. We measure this contribution of quiet regions to the Sun’s brightness from high spatial resolution (–) observations of the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST) and Hinode satellite. The line-of-sight magnetic field and continuum intensity near Fe i 6302.5 Å are used to quantify the correlation between field strength and brightness. The data show that magnetic flux density contains a significant amount of intrinsically weak fields that contribute little to brightness. We show that with data of high spatial resolution a calibration of magnetic flux density as a proxy for brightness excess is possible. In the SST data, the magnetic brightening of a quiet region with an average (unsigned) flux density of 10 G is about 0.15%. In the Hinode data, and in SST data reduced to Hinode resolution, the measured brightening is some 40% lower. With appropriate correction for resolution, magnetic flux density can be used as a reliable proxy in regions of small scale mixed polarity. The measured brightness effect is larger than the variation of irradiance over a solar cycle. It is not clear, however, if this quiet Sun contribution actually varies significantly.
Key words: Sun: surface magnetism / Sun: photosphere / solar-terrestrial relations
© ESO, 2011
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