Magnetic tornadoes and chromospheric swirls - definition and classification

Sven Wedemeyer, Eamon Scullion, Oskar Steiner, Jaime De La Cruz Rodriguez, L. H.M. Rouppe Van Der Voort

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Chromospheric swirls are the observational signatures of rotating magnetic field structures in the solar atmosphere, also known as magnetic tornadoes. Swirls appear as dark rotating features in the core of the spectral line of singly ionized calcium at a wavelength of 854.2 nm. This signature can be very subtle and difficult to detect given the dynamic changes in the solar chromosphere. Important steps towards a systematic and objective detection method are the compilation and characterization of a statistically significant sample of observed and simulated chromospheric swirls. Here, we provide a more exact definition of the chromospheric swirl phenomenon and also present a first morphological classification of swirls with three types: (I) Ring, (II) Split, (III) Spiral. We also discuss the nature of the magnetic field structures connected to tornadoes and the influence of limited spatial resolution on the appearance of their photospheric footpoints.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012005
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2013
EventEclipse on the Coral Sea: Cycle 24 Ascending - Palm Cove, QLD, Australia
Duration: 12 Nov 201216 Nov 2012


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