We present new results on the nature of moving magnetic features (MMFs) deduced from Big Bear Solar Observatory observations of the longitudinal magnetic fields of two large solar spots. We find that MMFs are not randomly oriented. To wit, in 21 out of 28 (75%) MMFs pairs, the magnetic element with the polarity of the sunspot was located farther from the sunspot. Furthermore, there is a correlation between the orientation of the bipole and that of the twist in a sunspot. For the two nearly round sunpots we studied, we find that the bipoles are rotated counterclockwise in the case of a clockwise twisted sunspot and clockwise for a spot with counterclockwise twist. We also find a correlation between the orientation of MMFs bipole and the amount of twist in the spot. The MMF bipoles around the highly twisted sunspot are oriented nearly tangential to the edge of the sunspot; while in the slightly twisted sunspot the bipoles are oriented nearly radially, so that they point back to the spot.

©BBSO/NJIT Seminar on OCT 99, 2000