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Paper: Molecule Formation and Magnetic Field Evolution in Sunspots
Volume: 437, Solar Polarization Workshop 6
Page: 473
Authors: Jaeggli, S. A.; Lin, H.; Uitenbroek, H.
Abstract: In a sunspot the magnetic field provides horizontal support to keep the warm, high pressure photosphere from intruding into the cool, low pressure sunspot atmosphere. In the very coolest regions of the umbra a rapid increase in magnetic field strength relative to temperature has been observed by many authors although its origins have remained unknown. In these regions the magnetic and gas pressure forces have found a different state which the current simplified theory of magnetohydrostatic equilibrium cannot quantitatively describe. It is well known that molecules form in sunspots. The formation of a large molecular fraction would alter the physical characteristic of the gas, providing a mechanism for concentrating the umbral magnetic field. The formation of molecules may be responsible for the observed rapid increase of the magnetic field strength observed in the coolest regions of the sunspots and may play a significant role in sunspot evolution. We investigate this problem with atmospheric models and present preliminary results from observations taken with the new Facility Infrared Spectropolarimeter on the Dunn Solar Telescope.
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