Magnetic and thermal phase shifts in the local helioseismology of sunspots

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Phase perturbations due to inclined surface magnetic field of active region strength are calculated numerically in quiet Sun and simple sunspot models in order to estimate and compare the direct and indirect (thermal) effects of the fields on helioseismic waves. It is found that the largest direct effects occur in highly inclined field characteristic of penumbrae, and scale roughly linearly with magnetic field strength. The combined effects of sunspot magnetic and thermal anomalies typically yield negative travel-time perturbations in penumbrae. Travel-time shifts in umbrae depend on details of how the thermal and density structure differs from the quiet Sun. The combined shifts are generally not well approximated by the sum of the thermal and magnetic effects applied separately, except at low field strengths of around 1 kG or less, or if the thermal shift is small. A useful rule-of-thumb appears to be that travel-time perturbations in umbrae are predominantly thermal, whereas in penumbrae they are mostly magnetic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1309 - 1318
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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