The Structure of Photospheric Flux Tubes

  1. C. T. Russell,
  2. E. R. Priest and
  3. L. C. Lee
  1. John H. Thomas

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM058p0133

Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes

Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes

How to Cite

Thomas, J. H. (1990) The Structure of Photospheric Flux Tubes, in Physics of Magnetic Flux Ropes (eds C. T. Russell, E. R. Priest and L. C. Lee), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM058p0133

Author Information

  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Physics and Astronomy, and C. E. K. Mees Observatory, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14627

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1990

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900261

Online ISBN: 9781118663868



  • Solar photosphere;
  • Magnetic flux;
  • Astrophysics


Basic physical mechanisms for producing the observed intense magnetic flux tubes in the solar photosphere are reviewed. The mechanism of flux expulsion by convective cells can concentrate magnetic flux up to the equipartition field strength, which is only about 200 G at the solar surface for the observed granular convection. Other mechanisms that partially evacuate the flux tube are needed to produce further concentration of magnetic flux to the observed values of 1000–1500 G. Two such mechanisms are discussed: concentration by convective collapse of a vertical flux tube in the superadiabatic layer just below the solar surface, and concentration by a siphon flow in an arched, isolated flux tube.