Properties of convective motions in facular regions
1 Main Astronomical Observatory, NAS, 03680 Kyiv, Ukraine
2 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
3 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Received: 3 May 2012
Accepted: 17 July 2012
Aims. We study the properties of solar granulation in a facular region from the photosphere up to the lower chromosphere. Our aim is to investigate the dependence of granular structure on magnetic field strength.
Methods. We used observations obtained at the German Vacuum Tower Telescope (Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife) using two different instruments: the Triple Etalon SOlar Spectrometer (TESOS) to measure velocity and intensity variations along the photosphere in the Ba ii 4554 Å line; and, simultaneously, the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter (TIP-II) to the measure Stokes parameters and the magnetic field strength at the lower photosphere in the Fe i 1.56 μm lines.
Results. We find that the convective velocities of granules in the facular area decrease with magnetic field while the convective velocities of intergranular lanes increase with the field strength. Similar to the quiet areas, there is a contrast and velocity sign reversal taking place in the middle photosphere. The reversal heights depend on the magnetic field strength and are, on average, about 100 km higher than in the quiet regions. The correlation between convective velocity and intensity decreases with magnetic field at the bottom photosphere, but increases in the upper photosphere. The contrast of intergranular lanes observed close to the disk center is almost independent of the magnetic field strength.
Conclusions. The strong magnetic field of the facular area seems to stabilize the convection and to promote more effective energy transfer in the upper layers of the solar atmosphere, since the convective elements reach greater heights.
Key words: Sun: photosphere / Sun: granulation / Sun: faculae, plages / Sun: surface magnetism
© ESO, 2012