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Magnetic fields in the solar photosphere

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul BushbyORCiD



Recent high-resolution observations of the surface of the Sun have revealed the fine structure of a vast array of complex photospheric magnetic features. Observations of these magnetic field structures have already greatly enhanced our theoretical understanding of the interactions between magnetic fields and turbulent convection, and future photospheric observations will inevitably present new theoretical challenges. In this review, I discuss recent progress that has been made in the modelling of photospheric magnetic fields. In particular, I focus upon the complex field structures that are observed within the umbrae and the penumbrae of sunspots. On a much smaller scale, I also discuss models of the highly localized magnetic field structures that are observed in less magnetically active regions of the photosphere. As the spatial resolution of telescopes has improved over the last few years, it has now become possible to observe these features in detail, and theoretical models can now describe much of this behaviour. In the last section of this review, I discuss some of the remaining unanswered questions. © 2008 The Royal Society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bushby PJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences

Year: 2008

Volume: 366

Issue: 1884

Pages: 4465-4476

Date deposited: 06/01/2012

ISSN (print): 1364-503X

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2962

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2008.0158


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