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  1. Abstract

    We report a magnetic relaxation process inside a sunspot associated with the evolution of a transient light bridge (LB). From high-resolution imaging and spectro-polarimetric data taken by the 1.6 m Goode Solar Telescope installed at Big Bear Solar Observatory, we observe the evolutionary process of a rapidly evolving LB. The LB is formed as a result of the strong intrusion of filamentary structures with relatively horizontal fields into the vertical umbral field region. A strong current density is detected along a localized region where the magnetic field topology changes rapidly in the sunspot, especially in the boundary region between the LB and the umbra, and bright jets are observed intermittently and repeatedly in the chromosphere along this region through magnetic reconnection. In the second half of our observation, the horizontal component of the magnetic field diminishes within the LB, and the typical convection structure within the sunspot, which manifests itself as umbral dots, is restored. Our findings provide a comprehensive perspective not only on the evolution of an LB itself but also on its impacts in the neighboring regions, including the chromospheric activity and the change of magnetic energy of a sunspot.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  2. Abstract

    Spicules, the smallest observable jetlike dynamic features ubiquitous in the chromosphere, are supposedly an important potential source for small-scale solar wind transients, with supporting evidence yet needed. We studied the high-resolution Hαimages (0.″10) and magnetograms (0.″29) from the Big Bear Solar Observatory to find that spicules are an ideal candidate for the solar wind magnetic switchbacks detected by the Parker Solar Probe (PSP). It is not that spicules are a miniature of coronal jets, but that they have unique properties not found in other solar candidates in explaining solar origin of switchbacks. (1) The spicules under this study originate from filigrees, all in a single magnetic polarity. Since filigrees are known as footpoints of open fields, the spicule guiding field lines can form a unipolar funnel, which is needed to create an SB patch, a group of field lines that switch from one common base polarity to the other polarity. (2) The spicules come in a cluster lined up along a supergranulation boundary, and the simulated waiting times from their spatial intervals exhibit a number distribution continuously decreasing from a few seconds to ∼30 minutes, similar to that of switchbacks. (3) From a time–distance map for spicules, we estimate their occurrence rate as 0.55 spicules Mm−2s−1, which is sufficiently high for detection by PSP. In addition, the dissimilarity of spicules with coronal jets, including the absence of base brightening and low correlation with EUV emission, is briefly discussed.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2025
  3. Abstract

    Three-minute oscillations are a common phenomenon in the solar chromosphere above a sunspot. Oscillations can be affected by the energy release process related to solar flares. In this paper, we report on an enhanced oscillation in flare event SOL2012-07-05T21:42 with a period of around 3 minutes that occurred at the location of a flare ribbon at a sunspot umbral–penumbral boundary and was observed in both chromospheric and coronal passbands. An analysis of this oscillation was carried out using simultaneous ground-based observations from the Goode Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory and space-based observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. A frequency shift was observed before and after the flare, with the running penumbral wave that was present with a period of about 200 s before the flare coexisting with a strengthened oscillation with a period of 180 s at the same locations after the flare. We also found a phase difference between different passbands, with the oscillation occurring from high-temperature to low-temperature passbands. Theoretically, the change in frequency was strongly dependent on the variation of the inclination of the magnetic field and the chromospheric temperature. Following an analysis of the properties of the region, we found the frequency change was caused by a slight decrease of the magnetic inclination angle with respect to the local vertical. In addition, we suggest that the enhanced 3 minute oscillation was related to the additional heating, maybe due to the downflow, during the EUV late phase of the flare.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 30, 2025
  4. Abstract

    We used 29 high-resolution line-of-sight magnetograms acquired with the Goode Solar Telescope (GST) in a quiet-Sun area to extrapolate a series of potential field configurations and study their time variations. The study showed that there are regions that consistently exhibit changes in loop connectivity, whereas other vast areas do not show such changes. Analysis of the topological features of the potential fields indicates that the photospheric footprint of the separatrix between open- and closed-loop systems closely matches the roots of rapid blue- and redshifted excursions, which are disk counterparts of type II spicules. There is a tendency for the footpoints of the observed Hαfeatures to be cospatial with the footpoints of the loops that most frequently change their connectivity, while the area occupied by the open fields that did not show any significant and persistent connectivity changes is void of prominent jet and spicular activity. We also detected and tracked magnetic elements using the Southwest Automatic Magnetic Identification Suite and GST magnetograms, which allowed us to construct artificial magnetograms and calculate the corresponding potential field configurations. Analysis of the artificial data showed tendencies similar to those found for the observed data. The present study suggests that a significant amount of chromospheric activity observed in the far wings of the Hαspectral line may be generated by reconnecting closed-loop systems and canopy fields consisting of “open” field lines.

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  5. Abstract

    We report the detection of transverse magnetohydrodynamic waves, also known as Alfvénic waves, in the chromospheric fibrils of a solar-quiet region. Unlike previous studies that measured transversal displacements of fibrils in imaging data, we investigate the line-of-sight (LOS) velocity oscillations of the fibrils in spectral data. The observations were carried out with the Fast Imaging Solar Spectrograph of the 1.6 m Goode Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory. By applying spectral inversion to the Hαand Caii8542 Å line profiles, we determine various physical parameters, including the LOS velocity in the chromosphere of the quiet Sun. In the Hαdata, we select two adjacent points along the fibrils and analyze the LOS velocities at those points. For the time series of the velocities that show high cross-correlation between the two points and do not exhibit any correlation with intensity, we interpret them as propagating Alfvénic wave packets. We identify a total of 385 Alfvénic wave packets in the quiet-Sun fibrils. The mean values of the period, velocity amplitude, and propagation speed are 7.5 minutes, 1.33 km s−1, and 123 km s−1, respectively. We find that the detected waves are classified into three groups based on their periods, namely, 3, 5, and 10 minute bands. Each group of waves exhibits distinct wave properties, indicating a possible connection to their generation mechanism. Based on our results, we expect that the identification of Alfvénic waves in various regions will provide clues to their origin and the underlying physical processes in the solar atmosphere.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 20, 2024
  6. Abstract

    Magnetic field plays an important role in various solar eruption phenomena. The formation and evolution of the characteristic magnetic field topology in solar eruptions are critical problems that will ultimately help us understand the origin of these eruptions in the solar source regions. With the development of advanced techniques and instruments, observations with higher resolutions in different wavelengths and fields of view have provided more quantitative information for finer structures. It is therefore essential to improve the method with which we study the magnetic field topology in the solar source regions by taking advantage of high-resolution observations. In this study, we employ a nonlinear force-free field extrapolation method based on a nonuniform grid setting for an M-class flare eruption event (SOL2015-06-22T17:39) with embedded vector magnetograms from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the Goode Solar Telescope (GST). The extrapolation results for which the nonuniform embedded magnetogram for the bottom boundary was employed are obtained by maintaining the native resolutions of the corresponding GST and SDO magnetograms. We compare the field line connectivity with the simultaneous GST/Hαand SDO/Atmospheric Imaging Assembly observations for these fine-scale structures, which are associated with precursor brightenings. Then we perform a topological analysis of the field line connectivity corresponding to fine-scale magnetic field structures based on the extrapolation results. The analysis results indicate that when we combine the high-resolution GST magnetogram with a larger magnetogram from the SDO, the derived magnetic field topology is consistent with a scenario of magnetic reconnection among sheared field lines across the main polarity inversion line during solar flare precursors.

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  7. Abstract

    Here, we present the study of a compact emission source during an X1.3 flare on 2022 March 30. Within a ∼41 s period (17:34:48 UT to 17:35:29 UT), Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph observations show spectral lines of Mgii, Cii, and Siivwith extremely broadened, asymmetric red wings. This source of interest (SOI) is compact, ∼1.″6, and is located in the wake of a passing ribbon. Two methods were applied to measure the Doppler velocities associated with these red wings: spectral moments and multi-Gaussian fits. The spectral-moments method considers the averaged shift of the lines, which are 85, 125, and 115 km s−1for the Mgii, Cii, and Siivlines respectively. The red-most Gaussian fit suggests a Doppler velocity up to ∼160 km s−1in all of the three lines. Downward mass motions with such high speeds are very atypical, with most chromospheric downflows in flares on the order 10–100 km s−1. Furthermore, extreme-UV (EUV) emission is strong within flaring loops connecting two flare ribbons located mainly to the east of the central flare region. The EUV loops that connect the SOI and its counterpart source in the opposite field are much less brightened, indicating that the density and/or temperature is comparatively low. These observations suggest a very fast downflowing plasma in the transition region and upper chromosphere, which decelerates rapidly since there is no equivalently strong shift of the O I chromospheric lines. This unusual observation presents a challenge that models of the solar atmosphere’s response to flares must be able to explain.

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  8. Abstract

    Light bridges (LBs) are narrow structures dividing sunspot umbra, and their role in active region evolution is yet to be explored. We investigated the magnetic structure of the two LBs: a narrow LB (with width ∼810 km) and a considerably wider LB (2475 km) in the active region NOAA 12371. We employed: (1) the high-spatial-resolution spectropolarimetric data obtained by the Near InfraRed Imaging Spectropolarimeter (NIRIS) of the 1.6 m Goode Solar Telescope (GST) for studying the magnetic structure at the photosphere, and (2) the nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) models, extrapolated from both the photospheric magnetogram from GST/NIRIS and from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory, for studying the three-dimensional (3D) magnetic structure on a larger scale. Our observations reveal the presence of a field-free (or, more precisely, weak-field) region and the different velocity structures inside the two LBs. Analysis of the 3D NLFFF model shows a low-lying magnetic canopy as well as the enhanced current system above the LBs. The substantial difference between the LBs and the umbrae is found in the overall magnetic topology in that the field lines emanating from the two LBs are more twisted than that from the neighboring umbrae.

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  9. Abstract

    Magnetic reconnection is regarded as the mechanism for the rapid release of magnetic energy stored in active regions during solar flares, and quantitative measurements of the magnetic reconnection rate are essential for understanding solar flares. In the context of the standard two-ribbon flare model, we derive the coronal magnetic reconnection rate of the M6.5 flare on 2015 June 22 in two terms, reconnection flux change rate and reconnection electric field, both of which can be obtained from observations of the flare morphology. Data used include a sequence of chromospheric Hαimages with unprecedented resolution during the flare from the Visual Imaging Spectrometer of the Goode Solar Telescope (GST) at the Big Bear Solar Observatory and a preflare line-of-sight photospheric magnetogram from the GST Near-InfraRed Imaging Spectropolarimeter along with hard X-ray data from the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager. The temporal correlation between the magnetic reconnection rate and nonthermal emission is found, and the variation of the reconnection electric field is mainly determined by the ribbon speed, not by the local magnetic field encountered by the ribbon front. Spatially, the hard X-ray source overlaps with the location of the strongest electric field obtained at the same time. The ribbon motion shows abundant fine structures, including a local acceleration at the location of a light bridge with a weaker magnetic field.

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  10. Abstract

    Multiple solar instrument observation campaigns are increasingly popular among the solar physics and space science communities. Scientists organize high-resolution ground-based telescopes and spacecraft to study the evolution of the complex solar atmosphere and the origin of space weather. Image registration and coalignment between different instruments are vital for accurate data product comparison. We developed a Python language package for registration of ground-based high-resolution imaging data acquired by the Goode Solar Telescope (GST) to space-based full-disk continuum intensity data provided by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) with the scale-invariant feature transform method. The package also includes tools to align data sets obtained in different wavelengths and at different times utilizing the optical flow method. We present the image registration and coalignment workflow. The aliment accuracy of each alignment method is tested with the aid of radiative magnetohydrodynamics simulation data. We update the pointing information in GST data fits headers and generate GST and SDO imaging data products as science-ready four-dimensional (x,y,λ,t) data cubes.

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