Observational evidence of changing photospheric vector magnetic fields associated with solar flares

J. T. Su, Ju Jing, Haimin Wang, X. J. Mao, X. F. Wang, H. Q. Zhang, Y. Y. Deng, J. Guo, G. P. Wang

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16 Scopus citations


Recent observations have provided evidence that the solar photospheric magnetic fields could have rapid and permanent changes in both longitudinal and transverse components associated with major flares. As a result, the Lorentz force (LF) acting on the solar photosphere and solar interior could be perturbed, and the change of LF is always nearly in the downward direction. However, these rapid and permanent changes have not been systematically investigated, yet, using vector magnetograms. In this paper, we analyze photospheric vector magnetograms covering five flares to study the evolution of photospheric magnetic fields. In particular, we investigate two-dimensional spatial distributions of the changing LF. Around the major flaring polarity inversion line, the net change of the LF is directed downward in an area of ∼1019cm2 for X-class flares. For all events, the white-light observations show that sunspots darken in this location after flares, and magnetic fields become more inclined, which is consistent with the ideas put forward by Hudson et al. and Fisher et al., and observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: flares
  • Sun: magnetic topology
  • Sun: surface magnetism


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