The velocity distribution of solar photospheric magnetic bright points

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

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50 Citations (Scopus)


We use high spatial resolution observations and numerical simulations to study the velocity distribution of solar photospheric magnetic bright points. The observations were obtained with the Rapid Oscillations in the Solar Atmosphere instrument at the Dunn Solar Telescope, while the numerical simulations were undertaken with the MURaM code for average magnetic fields of 200G and 400G. We implemented an automated bright point detection and tracking algorithm on the data set and studied the subsequent velocity characteristics of over 6000 structures, finding an average velocity of approximately 1kms -1, with maximum values of 7kms-1. Furthermore, merging magnetic bright points were found to have considerably higher velocities, and significantly longer lifetimes, than isolated structures. By implementing a new and novel technique, we were able to estimate the background magnetic flux of our observational data, which is consistent with a field strength of 400G.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL40
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Early online date28 Sept 2011
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: evolution
  • Sun: photosphere


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