Volume 662, June 2022
|Number of page(s)||23|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||03 June 2022|
The magnetic topology of the inverse Evershed flow
Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics, University of Oslo, Postboks 1029 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
2 Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo, Postboks 1029 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway
3 Center for Space Plasma & Aeronomic Research, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA
4 Department of Physics & Astronomy, California State University, Northridge, CA 91330-8268, USA
5 Institute for Particle and Astrophysics, ETH, 8049 Zürich, Switzerland
6 National Solar Observatory (NSO), 3665 Discovery Drive, Boulder, CO 80303, USA
7 Department of Space Science, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA
Accepted: 28 February 2022
Context. The inverse Evershed flow (IEF) is a mass motion towards sunspots at chromospheric heights.
Aims. We combined high-resolution observations of NOAA 12418 from the Dunn Solar Telescope and vector magnetic field measurements from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) to determine the driver of the IEF.
Methods. We derived chromospheric line-of-sight (LOS) velocities from spectra of Hα and Ca II IR. The HMI data were used in a non-force-free magnetic field extrapolation to track closed field lines near the sunspot in the active region. We determined their length and height, located their inner and outer foot points, and derived flow velocities along them.
Results. The magnetic field lines related to the IEF reach on average a height of 3 megameter (Mm) over a length of 13 Mm. The inner (outer) foot points are located at 1.2 (1.9) sunspot radii. The average field strength difference ΔB between inner and outer foot points is +400 G. The temperature difference ΔT is anti-correlated with ΔB with an average value of −100 K. The pressure difference Δp is dominated by ΔB and is primarily positive with a driving force towards the inner foot points of 1.7 kPa on average. The velocities predicted from Δp reproduce the LOS velocities of 2–10 km s−1 with a square-root dependence.
Conclusions. We find that the IEF is driven along magnetic field lines connecting network elements with the outer penumbra by a gas pressure difference that results from a difference in field strength as predicted by the classical siphon flow scenario.
Key words: Sun: chromosphere / Sun: photosphere / sunspots
© ESO 2022
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