The association between sunspot magnetic fields and superpenumbral fibrils



Spectropolarimetric observations of a sunspot were carried out with the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter at Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife, Spain. Maps of the physical parameters were obtained from an inversion of the Stokes profiles observed in the infrared Fe I line at 15648 Å The regular sunspot consisted of a light bridge which separated the two umbral cores of the same polarity. One of the arms of the light bridge formed an extension of a penumbral filament which comprised weak and highly inclined magnetic fields. In addition, the Stokes V profiles in this filament had an opposite sign as the sunspot and some resembled Stokes Q or U. This penumbral filament terminated abruptly into another at the edge of the sunspot, where the latter was relatively vertical by about 30°. Chromospheric Hα and He II 304 Å filtergrams revealed three superpenumbral fibrils on the limb-side of the sunspot, in which one fibril extended into the sunspot and was oriented along the highly inclined penumbral counterpart of the light bridge. An intense, elongated brightening was observed along this fibril that was co-spatial with the intersecting penumbral filaments in the photosphere. Our results suggest that the disruption in the sunspot magnetic field at the location of the light bridge could be the source of reconnection that led to the intense chromospheric brightening and facilitated the supply of cool material in maintaining the overlying superpenumbral fibrils. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)