1,089 research outputs found

    Sunspot areas and tilt angles for solar cycles 7-10

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    Extending the knowledge about the properties of solar cycles into the past is essential for understanding the solar dynamo. This paper aims at estimating areas of sunspots observed by Schwabe in 1825-1867 and at calculating the tilt angles of sunspot groups. The sunspot sizes in Schwabe's drawings are not to scale and need to be converted into physical sunspot areas. We employed a statistical approach assuming that the area distribution of sunspots was the same in the 19th century as it was in the 20th century. Umbral areas for about 130,000 sunspots observed by Schwabe were obtained, as well as the tilt angles of sunspot groups assuming them to be bipolar. There is, of course, no polarity information in the observations. The annually averaged sunspot areas correlate reasonably with sunspot number. We derived an average tilt angle by attempting to exclude unipolar groups with a minimum separation of the two alleged polarities and an outlier rejection method which follows the evolution of each group and detects the moment it turns unipolar at its decay. As a result, the tilt angles, although displaying considerable scatter, place the leading polarity on average 5.85+-0.25 closer to the equator, in good agreement with tilt angles obtained from 20th-century data sets. Sources of uncertainties in the tilt angle determination are discussed and need to be addressed whenever different data sets are combined. The sunspot area and tilt angle data are provided online.Comment: accepted for publication in Astron. & Astrophy

    Temporal relation between quiet-Sun transverse fields and the strong flows detected by IMaX/SUNRISE

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    Localized strongly Doppler-shifted Stokes V signals were detected by IMaX/SUNRISE. These signals are related to newly emerged magnetic loops that are observed as linear polarization features. We aim to set constraints on the physical nature and causes of these highly Doppler-shifted signals. In particular, the temporal relation between the appearance of transverse fields and the strong Doppler shifts is analyzed in some detail. We calculated the time difference between the appearance of the strong flows and the linear polarization. We also obtained the distances from the center of various features to the nearest neutral lines and whether they overlap or not. These distances were compared with those obtained from randomly distributed points on observed magnetograms. Various cases of strong flows are described in some detail. The linear polarization signals precede the appearance of the strong flows by on average 84+-11 seconds. The strongly Doppler-shifted signals are closer (0.19") to magnetic neutral lines than randomly distributed points (0.5"). Eighty percent of the strongly Doppler-shifted signals are close to a neutral line that is located between the emerging field and pre-existing fields. That the remaining 20% do not show a close-by pre-existing field could be explained by a lack of sensitivity or an unfavorable geometry of the pre-existing field, for instance, a canopy-like structure. Transverse fields occurred before the observation of the strong Doppler shifts. The process is most naturally explained as the emergence of a granular-scale loop that first gives rise to the linear polarization signals, interacts with pre-existing fields (generating new neutral line configurations), and produces the observed strong flows. This explanation is indicative of frequent small-scale reconnection events in the quiet Sun.Comment: 11 pages, 8 figure

    On the intensity contrast of solar photospheric faculae and network elements

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    Sunspots, faculae and the magnetic network contribute to solar irradiance variations. The contribution due to faculae and the network is of basic importance, but suffers from considerable uncertainty. We determine the contrasts of active region faculae and the network, both as a function of heliocentric angle and magnetogram signal. To achieve this, we analyze near-simultaneous full disk images of photospheric continuum intensity and line-of-sight magnetic field provided by the Michelson Doppler Interferometer (MDI) on board the SOHO spacecraft. Starting from the surface distribution of the solar magnetic field we first construct a mask, which is then used to determine the brightness of magnetic features, and the relatively field-free part of the photosphere separately. By sorting the magnetogram signal into different bins we are able to distinguish between the contrasts of different concentrations of magnetic field. We find that the contrasts of active region faculae (large magnetogram signal) and the network (small signal) exhibit a very different CLV, showing that the populations of magnetic flux tubes are different. This implies that these elements need to be treated separately when reconstructing variations of the total solar irradiance with high precision. We have obtained an analytical expression for the contrast of photospheric magnetic features as a function of both position on the disk and magnetic field strength, by performing a 2-dimensional fit to the observations.Comment: 12 pages, 8 figures, uses aa.cl

    Comparison of solar photospheric bright points between SUNRISE observations and MHD simulations

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    Bright points (BPs) in the solar photosphere are radiative signatures of magnetic elements described by slender flux tubes located in the darker intergranular lanes. They contribute to the ultraviolet (UV) flux variations over the solar cycle and hence may influence the Earth's climate. Here we combine high-resolution UV and spectro-polarimetric observations of BPs by the SUNRISE observatory with 3D radiation MHD simulations. Full spectral line syntheses are performed with the MHD data and a careful degradation is applied to take into account all relevant instrumental effects of the observations. It is demonstrated that the MHD simulations reproduce the measured distributions of intensity at multiple wavelengths, line-of-sight velocity, spectral line width, and polarization degree rather well. Furthermore, the properties of observed BPs are compared with synthetic ones. These match also relatively well, except that the observations display a tail of large and strongly polarized BPs not found in the simulations. The higher spatial resolution of the simulations has a significant effect, leading to smaller and more numerous BPs. The observation that most BPs are weakly polarized is explained mainly by the spatial degradation, the stray light contamination, and the temperature sensitivity of the Fe I line at 5250.2 \AA{}. The Stokes VV asymmetries of the BPs increase with the distance to their center in both observations and simulations, consistent with the classical picture of a production of the asymmetry in the canopy. This is the first time that this has been found also in the internetwork. Almost vertical kilo-Gauss fields are found for 98 % of the synthetic BPs. At the continuum formation height, the simulated BPs are on average 190 K hotter than the mean quiet Sun, their mean BP field strength is 1750 G, supporting the flux-tube paradigm to describe BPs.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics on May 30 201

    Are there field-free gaps near tau=1 in sunspot penumbrae?

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    The vertical stratification of the magnetic field strength in sunspot penumbrae is investigated by means of spectropolarimetric observations at high spatial resolution from the Hinode spacecraft. Assuming that the magnetic field changes linearly with optical depth we find that, in those regions where the magnetic field is more inclined and the Evershed flow is strongest (penumbral intraspines), the magnetic field can either increase or decrease with depth. Allowing more degrees of freedom to the magnetic field stratification reveals that the magnetic field initially decreases from \log\tau_5 = -3 until \log\tau_5 \simeq -1.0, but increases again below that. The presence of strong magnetic fields near the continuum is at odds with the existence of regions void of magnetic fields at, or right below, the \tau_5=1 level in the penumbra. However, they are compatible with the presence of a horizontal flux-tube-like field embedded in a magnetic atmosphere.Comment: 10 pages, 11 figures (3 color figures, f2,f3,f5,f10,f11 low resolution). Accepted for publication in ApJ. To appear in issue 1, vol 686, October 200

    A study of prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections & response to syndromic treatment among married women of reproductive age group in rural area of Parol Primary Health Centre under Thane district

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    Objectives To study prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs - symptomatic, clinical & laboratorial)& response to syndromic treatment in among STI groups. Design Community based interventional study Setting Rual area-Parol Primary Health Centre(PHC), District Thane, Maharashtra state. Poulation Women of reproductive age groups 15 -45 years Methods Present Community based interventional study was conducted among representative group of 415 women of reproductive age groups who were selected by simple random sampling technique in Parol PHC, District Thane, Maharashtra state. All symptomatic & asymptomatic women were counseled for examination & investigations & given syndromic treatment. Follow-up done to assess impact of syndromic treatment. Main Outcome Prevalence of STI symptomatically was 39%, clinically 32.3% & Laboratorial 26%. After syndromic treatment, prevalence of STIs was significantly reduced. Statistical Analysis Z test Results Of the surveyed women (415), prevalence of STI symptomatically was 39%, clinically 32.3% & Laboratorial 26%. The most common presenting symptom was vaginal discharge (36.4%) followed by Burning Micturition (24.7%), Vulval itching (17.3%), Lower abdominal pain (13%) & Genital ulcer (8.6%). Clinically, 55.2% women were diagnosed as cervicitis & 44.8% as PID. Laboratorial diagnosed STIs were - vaginal candidiasis 46.3%, Bacterial vaginosis 25%, Trichmoniasis 19.4 %, Genital Herpes 7.4% & HIV 1.9%. After syndromic treatment, prevalence of STIs has statistically significantly reduced. Conclusion Syndromic Rx & health education can definitely reduce STIs

    Influence of phase-diversity image reconstruction techniques on circular polarization asymmetries

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    Full Stokes filter-polarimeters are key instruments for investigating the rapid evolution of magnetic structures on the solar surface. To this end, the image quality is routinely improved using a-posteriori image reconstruction methods. We analyze the robustness of circular polarization asymmetries to phase-diversity image reconstruction techniques. We use snapshots of magneto-hydrodynamical simulations carried out with different initial conditions to synthesize spectra of the magnetically sensitive Fe I line at 5250.2 A. We degrade the synthetic profiles spatially and spectrally to simulate observations with the IMaX full Stokes filter-polarimeter. We also simulate the focused/defocused pairs of images used by the phase-diversity algorithm for reconstruction and the polarimetric modulation scheme. We assume that standard optimization methods are able to infer the projection of the wavefront on the Zernike polynomials with 10% precision. We also consider the less favorable case of 25% precision. We obtain reconstructed monochromatic modulated images that are later demodulated and compared with the original maps. Although asymmetries are often difficult to define in the quiet Sun due to the complexity of the Stokes V profiles, we show how asymmetries are degraded with spatial and spectral smearing. The results indicate that, although image reconstruction techniques reduce the spatial smearing, they can modify the asymmetries of the profiles, mainly caused by the appearance of spatially-correlated noise.Comment: 10 pages, accepted for publication in A&

    First evidence of interaction between longitudinal and transverse waves in solar magnetic elements

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    Small-scale magnetic fields are thought to play an important role in the heating of the outer solar atmosphere. By taking advantage of the unprecedented high-spatial and temporal cadence of IMaX, the filter vector polarimeter on board the Sunrise balloon-borne observatory, we study the transversal and longitudinal velocity oscillations in small magnetic elements. The results of this analysis are then compared to MHD simulations, showing excellent agreement. We found buffeting-induced transverse oscillations with velocity amplitudes of the order of 1-2 km/s, to be common along with longitudinal oscillations with amplitudes 0.4 km/s. Moreover, we also found an interaction between transverse oscillations and longitudinal velocity oscillations, showing a +-90 degrees phase lag at the frequency at which they exhibit the maximum coherence in the power spectrum. Our results are consistent with the theoretical picture in which MHD longitudinal waves are excited inside small magnetic elements as a response of the flux tube to the forcing action of the granular flows.Comment: 9 pages, 7 figures, A&A accepte

    First polarimetric observations and modeling of the FeH F^4 Delta-X^4 Delta system

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    Lines of diatomic molecules are more temperature and pressure sensitive than atomic lines, which makes them ideal tools for studying cool stellar atmospheres an internal structure of sunspots and starspots. The FeH F^4 Delta-X^4 Delta system represents such an example that exhibits in addition a large magnetic field sensitivity. The current theoretical descriptions of these transitions including the molecular constants involved are only based on intensity measurements because polarimetric observations have not been available so far, which limits their diagnostic value. We present for the first time spectropolarimetric observations of the FeH F^4 Delta-X^4 Delta system measured in sunspots to investigate their diagnostic capabilities for probing solar and stellar magnetic fields. We investigate whether the current theoretical model of FeH can reproduce the observed Stokes profiles including their magnetic properties. The polarimetric observations are compared with synthetic Stokes profiles modeled with radiative transfer calculations. This allows us to infer the temperature and the magnetic field strength of the observed sunspots. We find that the current theory successfully reproduces the magnetic properties of a large number of lines in the FeH F^4 Delta-X^4 Delta system. In a few cases the observations indicate a larger Zeeman splitting than predicted by the theory. There, our observations have provided additional constraints, which allowed us to determine empirical molecular constants. The FeH F^4 Delta-X^4 Delta system is found to be a very sensitive magnetic diagnostic tool. Polarimetric data of these lines provide us with more direct information to study the coolest parts of astrophysical objects.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figure

    Surface waves in solar granulation observed with {\sc Sunrise}

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    Solar oscillations are expected to be excited by turbulent flows in the intergranular lanes near the solar surface. Time series recorded by the IMaX instrument aboard the {\sc Sunrise} observatory reveal solar oscillations at high resolution, which allow studying the properties of oscillations with short wavelengths. We analyze two times series with synchronous recordings of Doppler velocity and continuum intensity images with durations of 32\thinspace min and 23\thinspace min, resp., recorded close to the disk center of the Sun to study the propagation and excitation of solar acoustic oscillations. In the Doppler velocity data, both the standing acoustic waves and the short-lived, high-degree running waves are visible. The standing waves are visible as temporary enhancements of the amplitudes of the large-scale velocity field due to the stochastic superposition of the acoustic waves. We focus on the high-degree small-scale waves by suitable filtering in the Fourier domain. Investigating the propagation and excitation of ff- and p1p_1-modes with wave numbers k>1.4k > 1.4\thinspace 1/Mm we find that also exploding granules contribute to the excitation of solar pp-modes in addition to the contribution of intergranular lanes.Comment: 12 pages, 4 figures, to appear in a special volume on Sunrise in Astrophysical Journal Letter
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