AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 20 Magnetic Fields
SPD Oral, Monday, May 31, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, 702

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[20.08] Clustering of the Small-Scale Field

C.E. DeForest (Southwest Research Institute), D.A. Lamb (University of Colorado)

The face of the Sun is covered by small ephemeral magnetic regions that form, interact, and disappear on spatial scales of a few megameters and time scales of a few hours. By examining the history of each ephemeral region, it is possible to make inferences about the nature of the small-scale dynamo. We have examined timeseries of MDI magnetic data with a sensitive tracking code. We are able to resolve discrepancies in the size distribution of flux elements as determined by two other tracking efforts (those of Hagenaar and of Parnell). We find that only a small percentage of ephemeral regions actually emerge intact: the dominant process on small scales is asymmetric coalescence, suggesting that supergranular scale dynamo action plays only a minor role in the creation and maintenance of the network. We also report on a first-order clustering analysis of ephemeral regions, and discuss its implications for the origin of the ``magnetic carpet''.

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