Articles | Volume 29, issue 5
23 May 2011
 | 23 May 2011

Photospheric magnetic vortex structures

S. Shelyag, V. Fedun, F. P. Keenan, R. Erdélyi, and M. Mathioudakis

Abstract. Using direct numerical magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, we demonstrate the evidence of two physically different types of vortex motions in the solar photosphere. Baroclinic motions of plasma in non-magnetic granules are the primary source of vorticity in granular regions of the solar photosphere, however, there is a significantly more efficient mechanism of vorticity production in strongly magnetised intergranular lanes. These swirly motions of plasma in intergranular magnetic field concentrations could be responsible for the generation of different types of MHD wave modes, for example, kink, sausage and torsional Alfvén waves. These waves could transport a relevant amount of energy from the lower solar atmosphere and contribute to coronal plasma heating.