Three kinds of magnetic couplings in the quiet solar atmosphere are highlighted and discussed, all fundamentally connected to the Lorentz force: first, the coupling of the convecting and overshooting fluid in the surface layers of the Sun with the magnetic field. Here, the plasma motion provides the dominant force, which shapes the magnetic field and drives the surface dynamo. Progress in the understanding of the horizontal magnetic field is summarized and discussed. Second, the coupling between acoustic waves and the magnetic field, in particular the phenomenon of wave conversion and wave refraction. It is described how measurements of wave travel times in the atmosphere can provide information about the topography of the wave conversion zone, that is, the surface of equal Alfvéen and sound speed. In quiet regions, this surface separates a highly dynamic magnetic field with fast moving magnetosonic waves and shocks around and above it from the more slowly evolving field of high-beta plasma below it. Third, the magnetic field also couples to the radiation field, which leads to radiative flux channeling and increased anisotropy in the radiation field. It is shown how faculae can be understood in terms of this effect. The article starts with an introduction to the magnetic field of the quiet Sun in the light of new results from the Hinode space observatory and with a brief survey of measurements of the turbulent magnetic field with the help of the Hanle effect.
Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings
- Pub Date:
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- To appear in "Magnetic Coupling between the Interior and the Atmosphere of the Sun", eds. S.S. Hasan and R.J. Rutten, Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Berlin, 2009