Detection of small-scale granular structures in the quiet sun with the new solar telescope

V. I. Abramenko, Vasyl Yurchyshyn, P. R. Goode, I. N. Kitiashvili, Alexander Kosovichev

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Results of a statistical analysis of solar granulation are presented. A data set of 36 images of a quiet-Sun area on the solar disk center was used. The data were obtained with the 1.6m clear aperture New Solar Telescope at Big Bear Solar Observatory and with a broadband filter centered at the TiO (705.7nm) spectral line. The very high spatial resolution of the data (diffraction limit of 77km and pixel scale of 00375) augmented by the very high image contrast (15.5% ± 0.6%) allowed us to detect for the first time a distinct subpopulation of mini-granular structures. These structures are dominant on spatial scales below 600km. Their size is distributed as a power law with an index of -1.8 (which is close to the Kolmogorov's -5/3 law) and no predominant scale. The regular granules display a Gaussian (normal) size distribution with a mean diameter of 1050km. Mini-granular structures contribute significantly to the total granular area. They are predominantly confined to the wide dark lanes between regular granules and often form chains and clusters, but different from magnetic bright points. A multi-fractality test reveals that the structures smaller than 600km represent a multi-fractal, whereas on larger scales the granulation pattern shows no multi-fractality and can be considered as a Gaussian random field. The origin, properties, and role of the population of mini-granular structures in the solar magnetoconvection are yet to be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL27
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 10 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: granulation
  • Sun: photosphere


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