Sunspot Rotation in High- and Low-Flaring Active Regions

Richard Grimes*, Balázs Pintér

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Sunspot rotations are closely linked with flaring activity. They are thought to contribute to the accumulation of helicity in magnetic flux tubes and to triggering magnetic reconnection in large solar flares. This link to solar flares has led to sunspot rotations being used as a parameter in solar flare prediction methods, but analysis for long-period observations of rotations in the literature is scarce. In this study, the rotation profiles of sunspots in a selection of six active regions are studied over time periods of 5 – 10 days to measure how sunspot rotation varies as active regions develop. The active regions are divided into two categories: high-flaring groups, which produced at least one X-class flare, and low-flaring regions that had little flaring activity. Comparison of the rotation profiles in these regions showed that young complex sunspot groups exhibit faster angular velocities and more frequent changes in rotation than older single-spot groups and, although the most rotating groups were also the most flare-productive, sudden changes in rotation were found to not definitively indicate an imminent eruption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109
Number of pages14
JournalSolar Physics
Volume297
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2022

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