Volume 568, August 2014
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||14 August 2014|
Vigorous convection in a sunspot granular light bridge⋆
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research,
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
2 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, 446-701 Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea
Accepted: 20 June 2014
Context. Light bridges are the most prominent manifestation of convection in sunspots. The brightest representatives are granular light bridges composed of features that appear to be similar to granules.
Aims. An in-depth study of the convective motions, temperature stratification, and magnetic field vector in and around light bridge granules is presented with the aim of identifying similarities and differences to typical quiet-Sun granules.
Methods. Spectropolarimetric data from the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope were analyzed using a spatially coupled inversion technique to retrieve the stratified atmospheric parameters of light bridge and quiet-Sun granules.
Results. Central hot upflows surrounded by cooler fast downflows reaching 10 km s-1 clearly establish the convective nature of the light bridge granules. The inner part of these granules in the near surface layers is field free and is covered by a cusp-like magnetic field configuration. We observe hints of field reversals at the location of the fast downflows. The quiet-Sun granules in the vicinity of the sunspot are covered by a low-lying canopy field extending radially outward from the spot.
Conclusions. The similarities between quiet-Sun and light bridge granules point to the deep anchoring of granular light bridges in the underlying convection zone. The fast, supersonic downflows are most likely a result of a combination of invigorated convection in the light bridge granule due to radiative cooling into the neighboring umbra and the fact that we sample deeper layers, since the downflows are immediately adjacent to the slanted walls of the Wilson depression.
Key words: sunspots / Sun: photosphere / Sun: granulation / Sun: magnetic fields / techniques: polarimetric
The two movies are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2014
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