Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades Gobierno de Canarias Universidad de La Laguna CSIC Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa

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Discovery of magnetic bright points in the quiet Sun

Author/s: J. Sanchez Almeida, I. Marquez, J. A. Bonet, I. Dominguez Cerdena, R. Muller

Reference: Astrophys.J. 609 (2004) L91-L94 | Link

Intergranular bright point.
Intergranular bright point.

Most of the solar surface seems to be non-magnetic. However, it carries a magnetic flux and energy that easily exceed those of sunspots, plage and network all together. The solar magnetism studied so far represents only the 'tip of the iceberg'. The rest, known as 'magnetism of the quiet Sun' is been studied and characterized. The solar physicists of the IAC have played a leading role in this characterization, and the paper this highlight refers to points out a good example.

Using the SST at the ORM, Sanchez Almeida et al. discovered, for the first time, magnetic bright points in the quiet Sun. They trace magnetic concentrations of field strength similar to sunspots, but covering at least 1% of the solar surface. Even during the solar maximum, sunspots just cover 0.1% of the solar surface, which implies that the quiet Sun magnetic concentrations contain far more magnetic flux than the sunspots.

Further reading,

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