The area distribution of solar magnetic bright points

P. J. Crockett, M. Mathioudakis, D. B. Jess, S. Shelyag, F. P. Keenan, D. J. Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic bright points (MBPs) are among the smallest observable objects on the solar photosphere. A combination of G-band observations and numerical simulations is used to determine their area distribution. An automatic detection algorithm, employing one-dimensional intensity profiling, is utilized to identify these structures in the observed and simulated data sets. Both distributions peak at an area of ≈45,000 km2, with a sharp decrease toward smaller areas. The distributions conform with log-normal statistics, which suggests that flux fragmentation dominates over flux convergence. Radiative magneto-convection simulations indicate an independence in theMBP area distribution for differing magnetic flux densities. The most commonly occurring bright point size corresponds to the typical width of inter-granular lanes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L188-L193
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Early online date1 Oct 2010
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Sun: evolution
  • Sun: granulation
  • Sun: photosphere
  • Sun: surface magnetism


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