Asymmetric flux loops in active regions, II

K. Petrovay, J. C. Brown, L. van Driel-Gesztelyi, L. Fletcher, M. Marik, G. Stewart

Research output: Article

24 Citations (Scopus)


We propose that magnetic flux loops in the subphotospheric layers of the Sun are seriously asymmetrical as a consequence of the drag force exerted on them because of the different rotational rate of the surrounding plasma. In numerical models of stationary slender flux loops in the plane parallel approximation we show that a serious tilt is both possible and probable. Observational facts (see van Driel-Gesztelyi and Petrovay, 1989; Paper I) strongly support the case for high asymmetry. The different stability of p and f spots may also be related to such an asymmetry. The tilts are very sensitive to the rotational profile and to the magnetic field structure. Nevertheless the characteristic maximal tilts can be tentatively estimated to be 20° for thin flux tubes and 5° for thick tubes. For two of the five observational consequences of such a tilt (described in detail in Paper I) order-of-magnitude estimates of the effects are given. The estimates are in reasonable accord with observations. We also explore the possibilities of an inverse treatment of the problem whereby subphotospheric rotation and/or flux tube shapes can be inferred from observations of velocities of photospheric spot motions. In particular we demonstrate how analytic inverse solutions can be obtained in special cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - máj. 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Asymmetric flux loops in active regions, II'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Petrovay, K., Brown, J. C., van Driel-Gesztelyi, L., Fletcher, L., Marik, M., & Stewart, G. (1990). Asymmetric flux loops in active regions, II. Solar Physics, 127(1), 51-64.