Self-assembly of shallow magnetic spots through strongly stratified turbulence Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Recent studies have demonstrated that in fully developed turbulence, the effective magnetic pressure of a large-scale field (non-turbulent plus turbulent contributions) can become negative. In the presence of strongly stratified turbulence, this was shown to lead to a large- scale instability that produces spontaneous magnetic flux concentrations. Furthermore, using a horizontal magnetic field, elongated flux concentrations with a strength of a few percent of the equipartition value were found. Here we show that a uniform vertical magnetic field leads to circular magnetic spots of equipartition field strengths. This could represent a minimalistic model of sunspot formation and highlights the importance of two critical ingredients: turbulence and strong stratification. Radiation, ionization, and supergranulation may be important for realistic simulations, but are not critical at the level of a minimalistic …

publication date

  • October 3, 2013