Chromospheric Plasma Ejections in a Light Bridge of a Sunspot

Donguk Song, Jongchul Chae, Vasyl Yurchyshyn, Eun Kyung Lim, Kyung Suk Cho, Heesu Yang, Kyuhyoun Cho, Hannah Kwak

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19 Scopus citations


It is well-known that light bridges (LBs) inside a sunspot produce small-scale plasma ejections and transient brightenings in the chromosphere, but the nature and origin of such phenomena are still unclear. Utilizing the high-spatial and high-temporal resolution spectral data taken with the Fast Imaging Solar Spectrograph and the TiO 7057 Å broadband filter images installed at the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope of Big Bear Solar Observatory, we report arcsecond-scale chromospheric plasma ejections (1.″7) inside a LB. Interestingly, the ejections are found to be a manifestation of upwardly propagating shock waves as evidenced by the sawtooth patterns seen in the temporal-spectral plots of the Ca ii 8542 Å and Hα intensities. We also found a fine-scale photospheric pattern (1″) diverging with a speed of about 2 km s-1 two minutes before the plasma ejections, which seems to be a manifestation of magnetic flux emergence. As a response to the plasma ejections, the corona displayed small-scale transient brightenings. Based on our findings, we suggest that the shock waves can be excited by the local disturbance caused by magnetic reconnection between the emerging flux inside the LB and the adjacent umbral magnetic field. The disturbance generates slow-mode waves, which soon develop into shock waves, and manifest themselves as the arcsecond-scale plasma ejections. It also appears that the dissipation of mechanical energy in the shock waves can heat the local corona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number240
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: chromosphere
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: photosphere
  • shock waves
  • sunspots


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