Temporal evolution of small-scale internetwork magnetic fields in the solar photosphere

R.J. Campbell*, M. Mathioudakis, M. Collados, P.H. Keys, A. Asensio Ramos, C.J. Nelson, D. Kuridze, A. Reid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Context. While the longitudinal field that dominates in photospheric network regions has been studied extensively, small-scale transverse fields have recently been found to be ubiquitous in the quiet internetwork photosphere and this merits further study. Furthermore, few observations have been able to capture how this field evolves. Aims. We aim to statistically characterize the magnetic vector in a quiet Sun internetwork region and observe the temporal evolution of specific small-scale magnetic features. Methods. We present two high spatio-temporal resolution observations that reveal the dynamics of two disk-centre internetwork regions taken by the new GRIS-IFU (GREGOR Infrared Spectrograph Integral Field Unit) with the highly magnetically sensitive photospheric Fe I line pair at 15648.52 Å and 15652.87 Å. We record the full Stokes vector and apply inversions with the Stokes inversions based on response functions (SIR) code to retrieve the parameters characterizing the atmosphere. We consider two inversion schemes: scheme 1 (S1), where a magnetic atmosphere is embedded in a field free medium, and scheme 2 (S2), with two magnetic models and a fixed 30% stray light component. Results. The magnetic properties produced from S1 inversions returned a median magnetic field strength of 200 and 240 G for the two datasets, respectively. We consider the median transverse (horizontal) component, among pixels with Stokes Q or U, and the median unsigned longitudinal (vertical) component, among pixels with Stokes V, above a noise threshold. We determined the former to be263 G and 267 G, and the latter to be 131 G and 145 G, for the two datasets, respectively. Finally, we present three regions of interest(ROIs), tracking the dynamics of small-scale magnetic features. We apply S1 and S2 inversions to specific profiles of interest and find that the latter produces better approximations when there is evidence of mixed polarities. We find patches of linear polarization with magnetic flux density of the order of 130 − 150 G and find that linear polarization appears preferentially at granule-intergranular lane(IGL) boundaries. The weak magnetic field appears to be organized in terms of complex ‘loop-like’ structures, with transverse fields often flanked by opposite polarity longitudinal fields.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA182
Number of pages21
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2021


  • Observational
  • Photosphere
  • polarimetric
  • magnetic fields
  • granulation
  • infrared


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