Characterizing 3D Magnetic Structures in Sunspot Light Bridges

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Light bridges (LBs) are narrow structures dividing sunspot umbra, and their role in active region evolution is yet to be explored. We investigated the magnetic structure of the two LBs: a narrow LB (with width ∼810 km) and a considerably wider LB (2475 km) in the active region NOAA 12371. We employed: (1) the high-spatial-resolution spectropolarimetric data obtained by the Near InfraRed Imaging Spectropolarimeter (NIRIS) of the 1.6 m Goode Solar Telescope (GST) for studying the magnetic structure at the photosphere, and (2) the nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) models, extrapolated from both the photospheric magnetogram from GST/NIRIS and from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory, for studying the three-dimensional (3D) magnetic structure on a larger scale. Our observations reveal the presence of a field-free (or, more precisely, weak-field) region and the different velocity structures inside the two LBs. Analysis of the 3D NLFFF model shows a low-lying magnetic canopy as well as the enhanced current system above the LBs. The substantial difference between the LBs and the umbrae is found in the overall magnetic topology in that the field lines emanating from the two LBs are more twisted than that from the neighboring umbrae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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