Why Solar Magnetic Flux Concentrations Are Bright in Molecular Bands

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Schüssler, Manfred ; Shelyag, Sergiy ; Berdyugina, Svetlana ; Vögler, Alexander ; Solanki, Sami K. (2003)
  • Publisher: IOP Publishing
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1086/379869
  • Subject: F500 | F300 | G100
    arxiv: Astrophysics::Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

Using realistic ab initio simulations of radiative magnetoconvection, we show that the bright structures in images taken in the "G band," a spectral band dominated by lines of the CH molecule, precisely outline small-scale concentrations of strong magnetic fields on the visible solar surface. The brightening is caused by a depletion of CH molecules in the hot and tenuous magnetic structures, thus confirming the model of radiatively heated magnetic flux concentrations. These results provide a firm basis for observational studies of the evolution and dynamics of the small-scale solar magnetic field derived through "proxy magnetometry" with G-band images.
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