Three-dimensional magnetic structure of a sunspot: Comparison of the photosphere and upper chromosphere
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 Institute for Solar Physics, Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Centre, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
3 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, 446-701 Gyeonggi Do, Republic of Korea
Received: 27 March 2017
Accepted: 21 May 2017
Aims. We investigate the magnetic field of a sunspot in the upper chromosphere and compare it to the photospheric properties of the field.
Methods. We observed the main leading sunspot of the active region NOAA 11124 during two days with the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter-2 (TIP-2) mounted at the German Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT). Through inversion of Stokes spectra of the He i triplet at 10 830 Å, we obtained the magnetic field vector of the upper chromosphere. For comparison with the photosphere, we applied height-dependent inversions of the Si i 10 827.1 Å and Ca i 10 833.4 Å lines.
Results. We found that the umbral magnetic field strength in the upper chromosphere is lower by a factor of 1.30–1.65 compared to the photosphere. The magnetic field strength of the umbra decreases from the photosphere toward the upper chromosphere by an average rate of 0.5–0.9 G km-1. The difference in the magnetic field strength between both atmospheric layers steadily decreases from the sunspot center to the outer boundary of the sunspot; the field, in particular its horizontal component, is stronger in the chromopshere outside the spot and this is suggestive of a magnetic canopy. The sunspot displays a twist that on average is similar in the two layers. However, the differential twist between the photosphere and chromosphere increases rapidly toward the outer penumbral boundary. The magnetic field vector is more horizontal with respect to the solar surface by roughly 5–20° in the photosphere compared to the upper chromosphere. Above a lightbridge, the chromospheric magnetic field is equally strong as that in the umbra, whereas the field of the lightbridge is weaker than its surroundings in the photosphere by roughly 1 kG. This suggests a cusp-like magnetic field structure above the lightbridge.
Key words: Sun: chromosphere / Sun: infrared / Sun: magnetic fields / sunspots / techniques: spectroscopic / techniques: polarimetric
© ESO, 2017