Volume 592, August 2016
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||08 August 2016|
Reconnection brightenings in the quiet solar photosphere⋆
1 Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, PO Box 1029 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
2 Lingezicht Astrophysics, ’t Oosteneind 9, 4158 CA Deil, The Netherlands
Received: 10 May 2016
Accepted: 11 June 2016
We describe a new quiet-Sun phenomenon which we call quiet-Sun Ellerman-like brightenings (QSEB). QSEBs are similar to Ellerman bombs (EB) in some respects but differ significantly in others. EBs are transient brightenings of the wings of the Balmer Hα line that mark strong-field photospheric reconnection in complex active regions. QSEBs are similar but smaller and less intense Balmer-wing brightenings that occur in quiet areas away from active regions. In the Hα wing, we measure typical lengths of less than 0.5 arcsec, widths of 0.23 arcsec, and lifetimes of less than a minute. We discovered them using high-quality Hα imaging spectrometry from the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST) and show that, in lesser-quality data, they cannot be distinguished from more ubiquitous facular brightenings, nor in the UV diagnostics currently available from space platforms. We add evidence from concurrent SST spectropolarimetry that QSEBs also mark photospheric reconnection events, but in quiet regions on the solar surface.
Key words: Sun: photosphere / Sun: chromosphere / Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: faculae, plages / Sun: activity
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© ESO, 2016
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