The discrepancy in G-band contrast: Where is the quiet Sun?

Uitenbroek, Han
Tritschler, Alexandra
Rimmele, Thomas
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We compare the rms contrast in observed speckle reconstructed G-band images with synthetic filtergrams computed from two magneto-hydrodynamic simulation snapshots. The observations consist of 103 bursts of 80 frames each taken at the Dunn Solar Telescope (DST), sampled at twice the diffraction limit of the telescope. The speckle reconstructions account for the performance of the Adaptive Optics (AO) system at the DST to supply reliable photometry. We find a considerable discrepancy in the observed rms contrast of 14.1% for the best reconstructed images, and the synthetic rms contrast of 21.5% in a simulation snapshot thought to be representative of the quiet Sun. The areas of features in the synthetic filtergrams that have positive or negative contrast beyond the minimum and maximum values in the reconstructed images have spatial scales that should be resolved. This leads us to conclude that there are fundamental differences in the rms G-band contrast between observed and computed filtergrams. On the basis of the substantially reduced granular contrast of 16.3% in the synthetic plage filtergram we speculate that the quiet-Sun may contain more weak magnetic field than previously thought.
Comment: 16 pages, 8 figures