Emergence of magnetic flux generated in a solar convective dynamo. I: Formation of Sunspots and Active regions, and Origin of Their Asymmetries [SSA]


We present a realistic numerical model of sunspot and active region formation through the emergence of flux bundles generated in a solar convective dynamo. The magnetic and velocity fields in a horizontal layer near the top boundary of the solar convective dynamo simulation are used as a time-dependent bottom boundary to drive realistic radiative-magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the upper most layer of the convection zone. The main results are: (1) The emerging flux bundles rise with the mean speed of convective upflows, and fragment into small-scale magnetic elements that further rise to the photosphere, where bipolar sunspot pairs are formed through the coalescence of the small-scale magnetic elements. (2) Filamentary penumbral structures form when the sunspot is still growing through ongoing flux emergence. In contrast to the classical Evershed effect, the inflow seems to prevail over the outflow in a large part of the penumbra. (3) A well formed sunspot is a mostly monolithic magnetic structures that is anchored in a persistent deep-seated downdraft lane. The flow field outside the spot shows a giant vortex ring that comprises of an inflow below 15 Mm depth and an outflow above 15 Mm depth. (4) The sunspots successfully reproduce the fundamental properties of the observed solar active regions, including the more coherent leading spots with a stronger field strength, and the correct tilts of bipolar sunspot pairs. These asymmetries can be linked to the intrinsic asymmetries in the emerging magnetic and flow fields adapted from the convective dynamo simulation.

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F. Chen, M. Rempel and Y. Fan
Fri, 21 Apr 17

Comments: 27 pages, 13 figures, submitted to ApJ