Highest resolution observations of the quietest sun

Philip R. Goode, Vasyl Yurchyshyn, Wenda Cao, Valentyna Abramenko, Aleksandra Andic, Kwangsu Ahn, Jongchul Chae

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Highest resolution observations made with the new 1.6 m aperture solar telescope in Big Bear Solar Observatory during this time of historic inactivity on the Sun reveal new insights into the small-scale dynamics of the Sun's photosphere. The telescope's unprecedented resolution enabled us to observe that the smallest scale photospheric magnetic field seems to come in isolated points in the dark intergranular lanes, rather than the predicted continuous sheets confined to the lanes, and the unexpected longevity of the bright points implies a deeper anchoring than predicted. Further, we demonstrated for the first time that the photospheric plasma motion and magnetic fields are in equipartition over a wide dynamic range, and both cascade energy to ever-smaller scales according to classical Kolmogorov turbulence theory. Finally, we discovered tiny jet-like features originating in the dark lanes that surround the ubiquitous granules that characterize the solar surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L31-L35
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: chromosphere
  • Sun: fundamental parameters
  • Sun: general
  • Sun: photosphere


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