The Distribution and Behaviour of Photospheric Magnetic Features
Abstract:Over the past two decades enormous amounts of data on the magnetic fields of the solar photosphere have been produced by both ground-based (Kitt Peak & SOLIS), as well as space-based instruments (MDI, Hinode & HMI). In order to study the behaviour and distribution of photospheric magnetic features, efficient automated detection routines need to be utilised to identify and track magnetic features.
In this talk, I will discuss the pros and cons of different automated magnetic feature identification and tracking routines with a special focus on the requirements of these codes to deal with the large data sets produced by HMI. By patching together results from Hinode and MDI (high-res & full-disk), the fluxes of magnetic features were found to follow a power-law over 5 orders of magnitude. At the strong flux tail of this distribution, the power law was found to fall off at solar minimum, but was maintained over all fluxes during solar maximum. However, the point of deflection in the power-law distribution occurs at a patching point between instruments and so questions remain over the reasons for the deflection. The feature fluxes determined from the superb high-resolution HMI data covers almost all of the 5 orders of magnitude. Considering both solar mimimum and solar maximum HMI data sets, we investigate whether the power-law over 5 orders of magnitude in flux still holds. Furthermore, we investigate the behaviour of magnetic features in order to probe the nature of their origin. In particular, we analyse small-scale flux emergence events using HMI data to investigate the existence of a small-scale dynamo just below the solar photosphere.