The low ionization state in parts of a sunspot may play an important role in its evolution and dynamical state. The cool magnetic interior region of the sunspot develops a substantial neutral atomic and molecular hydrogen osmotic pressure which can drive a wind outward from the umbra. Ambipolar diffusion against the magnetically pinned ionized plasma component can also distort the umbral magnetic field into a filamentary penumbral structure. This may be important for explaining the development of the sunspot penumbra and the Evershed flow. This fractionation process may also be important for the ``First Ionization Potential'' (FIP) effect seen in the solar wind. In support of this mechanism we find evidence for such ionization fractionization in UV observations of molecular hydrogen in a sunspot umbra and penumbra.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Sept 2005|
- magnetic fields
- solar wind