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Multiscale Magnetic Underdense Regions on the Solar Surface: Granular and Mesogranular Scales

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The Sun is a non-equilibrium, dissipative system subject to an energy flow that originates in its core. Convective overshooting motions create temperature and velocity structures that show a temporal and spatial multiscale evolution. As a result, photospheric structures are generally considered to be a direct manifestation of convective plasma motions. The plasma flows in the photosphere govern the motion of single magnetic elements. These elements are arranged in typical patterns, which are observed as a variety of multiscale magnetic patterns. High-resolution magnetograms of the quiet solar surface revealed the presence of multiscale magnetic underdense regions in the solar photosphere, commonly called voids, which may be considered to be a signature of the underlying convective structure. The analysis of such patterns paves the way for the investigation of all turbulent convective scales, from granular to global. In order to address the question of magnetic structures driven by turbulent convection at granular and mesogranular scales, we used a voids-detection method. The computed distribution of void length scales shows an exponential behavior at scales between 2 and 10 Mm and the absence of features at mesogranular scales. The absence of preferred scales of organization in the 2 – 10 Mm range supports the multiscale nature of flows on the solar surface and the absence of a mesogranular convective scale.

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We wish to thank Bartolomeo Viticchiè and Dario del Moro for their contribution in the analysis of the Hinode data and numerical procedures, Michael Senno and Roberto Piazzesi for their contributions in reviewing the manuscript, and the reviewer, Thierry Roudier, for useful suggestions. This project is supported by the University of Rome Tor Vergata Astronomy Ph.D. Program. Hinode is a Japanese mission developed and launched by ISAS/JAXA, with NAOJ as domestic partner and NASA and STFC (UK) as international partners. It is operated by these agencies in cooperation with ESA and NSC (Norway).

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Correspondence to F. Berrilli.

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Berrilli, F., Scardigli, S. & Giordano, S. Multiscale Magnetic Underdense Regions on the Solar Surface: Granular and Mesogranular Scales. Sol Phys 282, 379–387 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-012-0179-2

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  • Granulation
  • Mesogranulation
  • Magnetic fields, photosphere