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The origin of morphological asymmetries in bipolar active regions
Fan, Y.; Fisher, G. H.; Deluca, E. E.
AA(Hawaii Univ., Honolulu), AB(Hawaii Univ., Honolulu; California Univ., Berkeley), AC(Hawaii Univ., Honolulu)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 405, no. 1, p. 390-401. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
Solar Physics
NASA/STI Keywords:
Solar Activity, Solar Magnetic Field, Solar Physics, Coriolis Effect, Mathematical Models, Solar Interior, Sunspots
Bibliographic Code:


A series of 3D numerical simulations was carried out to examine the dynamical evolution of emerging flux loops in the solar convective envelope. The innermost portions of the loops are anchored beneath the base of the convective zone by the subadiabatic temperature gradient of the underlying overshoot region. It is found that, as the emerging loops approach the photosphere, the magnetic field strength of the leading side of each rising loop is about twice as large as that of the following side at the same depth. The evacuation of plasma out of the leading side of the rising loop results in an enhanced magnetic field strength there compared with the following side. It is argued that this result provides a natural explanation for the fact that the preceding (leading) polarity tends to have a less organized and more fragmented appearance, and that the preceding spots tend to be larger in area and fewer in number, and have a longer lifetime than the following spots.

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