Volume 641, September 2020
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||04 September 2020|
Letter to the Editor
Signatures of ubiquitous magnetic reconnection in the lower solar atmosphere⋆
Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, PO Box 1029, Blindern 0315, Oslo, Norway
2 Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics, University of Oslo, PO Box 1029, Blindern 0315, Oslo, Norway
3 Institute for Solar Physics, Dept. of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Centre, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Accepted: 28 July 2020
Ellerman Bomb-like brightenings of the hydrogen Balmer line wings in the quiet Sun, also known as quiet Sun Ellerman bombs (QSEBs), are a signature of the fundamental process of magnetic reconnection at the smallest observable scale in the lower solar atmosphere. We analyze high spatial resolution observations (0.″1) obtained with the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope to explore signatures of QSEBs in the Hβ line. We find that QSEBs are ubiquitous and uniformly distributed throughout the quiet Sun, predominantly occurring in intergranular lanes. We find up to 120 QSEBs in the field of view for a single moment in time; this is more than an order of magnitude higher than the number of QSEBs found in earlier Hα observations. This suggests that about half a million QSEBs could be present in the lower solar atmosphere at any given time. The QSEB brightenings found in the Hβ line wings also persist in the line core with a temporal delay and spatial offset toward the nearest solar limb. Our results suggest that QSEBs emanate through magnetic reconnection along vertically extended current sheets in the lower solar atmosphere. The apparent omnipresence of small-scale magnetic reconnection may play an important role in the energy balance of the solar chromosphere.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: atmosphere / Sun: magnetic fields
Movies associated to Figs. 1−3, B1, and B2 are available at https://www.aanda.org
© ESO 2020
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.