We present a detailed study of very strong magnetic fields in the NOAA Active Region (AR) 12673, which was the most flare productive AR in solar cycle 24. It produced four X-class flares including the X9.3 flare on 2017 September 6 and the X8.2 limb event on September 10. Our analysis is based on direct measurements of full Zeeman splitting of the Fe i 1564.85 nm line using all Stokes I, Q, U, and V profiles. This approach allowed us to obtain reliable estimates of the magnitude of magnetic fields independent of the filling factor and atmosphere models. Thus, the strongest fields up to 5.5 kG were found in a light bridge (LB) of a spot, while in the dark umbra magnetic fields did not exceed 4 kG. In the case of the LB, the magnitude of the magnetic field is not related to the underlying continuum intensity, while in the case of umbral fields we observed a well-known anticorrelation between the continuum intensity and the field magnitude. In this study, the LB was cospatial with a polarity inversion line of δ-sunspot, and we speculate that the 5.5 kG strong horizontal fields may be associated with a compact twisted flux rope at or near the photosphere. A comparison of the depth of the Zeeman π and σ components showed that in the LB magnetic fields are, on average, more horizontal than those in the dark umbra.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science