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Supersonic Downflows in a Sunspot Light Bridge

By Rohan Eugene Louis, Luis R. Bellot Rubio, Shibu K. Mathew and P. Venkatakrishnan

Abstract

We report the discovery of supersonic downflows in a sunspot light bridge using measurements taken with the spectropolarimeter on board the Hinode satellite. The downflows occur in small patches close to regions where the vector magnetic field changes orientation rapidly, and are associated with anomalous circular polarization profiles. An inversion of the observed Stokes spectra reveals velocities of up to 10 km/s, making them the strongest photospheric flows ever measured in light bridges. Some (but not all) of the downflowing patches are cospatial and cotemporal with brightness enhancements in chromospheric Ca II H filtergrams. We suggest that these flows are due to magnetic reconnection in the upper photosphere/lower chromosphere, although other mechanisms cannot be ruled out.Comment: 4 pages, 5 figures, Published in ApJ Letter

Topics: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
Publisher: 'IOP Publishing'
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1088/0004-637X/704/1/L29
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:0908.3465

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