Solar Coronal Loops Associated with Small-scale Mixed Polarity Surface Magnetic Fields

L. P. Chitta, H. Peter, S. K. Solanki, P. Barthol, A. Gandorfer, L. Gizon, J. Hirzberger, T. L. Riethmüller, M. Van Noort, J. Blanco Rodríguez, J. C.Del Toro Iniesta, D. Orozco Suárez, W. Schmidt, V. Martínez Pillet, M. Knölker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How and where are coronal loops rooted in the solar lower atmosphere? The details of the magnetic environment and its evolution at the footpoints of coronal loops are crucial to understanding the processes of mass and energy supply to the solar corona. To address the above question, we use high-resolution line-of-sight magnetic field data from the Imaging Magnetograph eXperiment instrument on the Sunrise balloon-borne observatory and coronal observations from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory of an emerging active region. We find that the coronal loops are often rooted at the locations with minor small-scale but persistent opposite-polarity magnetic elements very close to the larger dominant polarity. These opposite-polarity small-scale elements continually interact with the dominant polarity underlying the coronal loop through flux cancellation. At these locations we detect small inverse Y-shaped jets in chromospheric Ca ii H images obtained from the Sunrise Filter Imager during the flux cancellation. Our results indicate that magnetic flux cancellation and reconnection at the base of coronal loops due to mixed polarity fields might be a crucial feature for the supply of mass and energy into the corona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Sun: atmosphere
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Sun: photosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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