Evolution of magnetic fields and mass flow in a decaying active region

Hongqi Zhang, Guoxiang Ai, Haimin Wang, Harold Zirin, Alan Patterson

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21 Scopus citations


Five days of coordinated observation were carried out from 24-29 September, 1987 at Big Bear and Huairou Solar Observatories. Longitudinal magnetic fields of an αp sunspot active region were observed almost continuously by the two observatories. In addition, vector magnetic fields, photospheric and chromospheric Doppler velocity fields of the active region were also observed at Huairou Solar Observatory. We studied the evolution of magnetic fields and mass motions of the active region and obtained the following results: (1) There are two kinds of Moving Magnetic Features (MMFs). (a) MMFs with the same magnetic polarity as the center sunspot. These MMFs carry net flux from the spot, move through the moat, and accumulate at the moat's outer boundary. (b) MMFs in pairs of mixed polarity. These MMFs are not responsible for the decay of the spot since they do not carry away the net flux. MMFs in category (b) move faster than those of (a). (2) The speed of the mixed polarity MMFs is larger than the outflow measured by photospheric Dopplergrams. The uni-polar MMFs are moving at about the same speed as the Doppler outflow. (3) The chromospheric velocity is in approximately the opposite direction from the photospheric velocity. The photospheric Doppler flow is outward; chromospheric flow is inward. We also found evidence that downward flow appears in the photospheric umbra; in the chromosphere there is an upflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-316
Number of pages10
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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