Solar Magnetic Tracking. IV. The Death of Magnetic Features

The removal of magnetic flux from the quiet-sun photosphere is important for maintaining the statistical steady-state of the magnetic field there, for determining the magnetic flux budget of the Sun, and for estimating the rate of energy injected into the upper solar atmosphere. Magnetic feature death is a measurable proxy for the removal of detectable flux. We used the SWAMIS feature tracking code to understand how nearly 20000 detected magnetic features die in an hour-long sequence of Hinode/SOT/NFI magnetograms of a region of quiet Sun. Of the feature deaths that remove visible magnetic flux from the photosphere, the vast majority do so by a process that merely disperses the previously-detected flux so that it is too small and too weak to be detected. The behavior of the ensemble average of these dispersals is not consistent with a model of simple planar diffusion, suggesting that the dispersal is constrained by the evolving photospheric velocity field. We introduce the concept of the partial lifetime of magnetic features, and show that the partial lifetime due to Cancellation of magnetic flux, 22 h, is 3 times slower than previous measurements of the flux turnover time. This indicates that prior feature-based estimates of the flux replacement time may be too short, in contrast with the tendency for this quantity to decrease as resolution and instrumentation have improved. This suggests that dispersal of flux to smaller scales is more important for the replacement of magnetic fields in the quiet Sun than observed bipolar cancellation. We conclude that processes on spatial scales smaller than those visible to Hinode dominate the processes of flux emergence and cancellation, and therefore also the quantity of magnetic flux that threads the photosphere.

Comments: Accepted by ApJ

Similar Publications

The formation process of massive stars is still poorly understood. Massive young stellar objects (mYSOs) are deeply embedded in their parental clouds, they are rare and thus typically distant, and their reddened spectra usually preclude the determination of their photospheric parameters. M17 is one of the best studied HII regions in the sky, is relatively nearby, and hosts a young stellar population. Read More


SS~433 is an X-ray binary and the source of sub-relativistic, precessing, baryonic jets. We present high-resolution spectrograms of SS 433 in the infrared H and K bands. The spectrum is dominated by hydrogen and helium emission lines. Read More


The circumstellar disk density distributions for a sample of 63 Be southern stars from the BeSOS survey were found by modelling their H$\alpha$ emission line profiles. These disk densities were used to compute disk masses and disk angular momenta for the sample. Average values for the disk mass are 3. Read More


We discuss how contemporary multiwavelength observations of young OB-dominated clusters address long-standing astrophysical questions: Do clusters form rapidly or slowly with an age spread? When do clusters expand and disperse to constitute the field star population? Do rich clusters form by amalgamation of smaller subclusters? What is the pattern and duration of cluster formation in massive star forming regions (MSFRs)? Past observational difficulties in obtaining good stellar censuses of MSFRs have been alleviated in recent studies that combine X-ray and infrared surveys to obtain rich, though still incomplete, censuses of young stars in MSFRs. We describe here one of these efforts, the MYStIX project, that produced a catalog of 31,784 probable members of 20 MSFRs. We find that age spread within clusters are real in the sense that the stars in the core formed after the cluster halo. Read More


To properly describe heating in weakly collisional turbulent plasmas such as the solar wind, inter-particle collisions should be taken into account. Collisions can convert ordered energy into heat by means of irreversible relaxation towards the thermal equilibrium. Recently, Pezzi et al. Read More


We analyze sunspots rotation and magnetic transients in NOAA AR 11429 during two X-class (X5.4 and X1.3) flares using the data from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the \emph{Solar Dynamics Observatory}. Read More


The paucity of hypervelocity stars (HVSs) known to date has severely hampered their potential to investigate the stellar population of the Galactic Centre and the Galactic Potential. The first Gaia data release gives an opportunity to increase the current sample. The challenge is of course the disparity between the expected number of hypervelocity stars and that of bound background stars (around 1 in $10^6$). Read More


Spicules and other solar jets such as bright points and fibrils generally show a parabolic height-time relationship, which means that each spicule has a constant deceleration. However the deceleration is only constant for a particular spicule and varies widely from one spicule or jet to another. Nonetheless the careful observations of a number of researchers show that the distance - time relationship is parabolic to a high level of precision. Read More


We present the highest spatial resolution ALMA observations to date of the Class I protostar WL 17 in the $\rho$ Ophiuchus L1688 molecular cloud complex, which show that it has a 12 AU hole in the center of its disk. We consider whether WL 17 is actually a Class II disk being extincted by foreground material, but find that such models do not provide a good fit to the broadband SED and also require such high extinction that it would presumably arise from dense material close to the source such as a remnant envelope. Self-consistent models of a disk embedded in a rotating collapsing envelope can nicely reproduce both the ALMA 3 mm observations and the broadband SED of WL 17. Read More


We mine the Tycho-{\it Gaia} astrometric solution (TGAS) catalog for wide stellar binaries by matching positions, proper motions, and astrometric parallaxes. We separate genuine binaries from unassociated stellar pairs through a Bayesian formulation that includes correlated uncertainties in the proper motions and parallaxes. Rather than relying on assumptions about the structure of the Galaxy, we calculate Bayesian priors and likelihoods based on the nature of Keplerian orbits and the TGAS catalog itself. Read More