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The Magnetic Connection Between the Convection Zone and Corona in the Quiet Sun  

William Abbett   Submitted: 2007-05-21 15:22

To understand the dynamic, magnetic, and energetic connection between the convectively unstable layers below the visible surface of the Sun and the overlying solar corona, we have developed a new three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic code capable of simultaneously evolving a model convection zone and corona within a single computational volume. As a first application of this numerical model, we present a series of simulations of the Quiet Sun in a domain that encompasses both the upper convection zone and low corona. We investigate whether the magnetic field generated by a convective surface dynamo can account for some of the observed properties of the Quiet Sun atmosphere. We find that (1) it is possible to heat a model corona to X-ray emitting temperatures with the magnetic fields generated from a convective dynamo and an empirically-based heating mechanism consistent with the observed relationship between X-ray emission and magnetic flux observed at the visible surface; (2) within the limitations of our numerical models of the Quiet Sun, resistive and viscous dissipation alone are insufficient to maintain a hot corona; (3) the Quiet Sun model chromosphere is a dynamic, non-force-free layer that exhibits a temperature reversal in the convective pattern in the relatively low-density layers above the photosphere; (4) the majority of the unsigned magnetic flux lies below the model photosphere in the convectively unstable portion of the domain; (5) horizontally-directed magnetic structures thread the low atmosphere, often connecting relatively distant concentrations of magnetic flux observed at the surface; and (6) low-resolution photospheric magnetograms can significantly underestimate the amount of unsigned magnetic flux threading the Quiet Sun photosphere.

Authors: W. P. Abbett
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ (in press)
Last Modified: 2007-05-22 08:55
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