The area distribution of solar magnetic bright points

Magnetic bright points (MBPs) are among the smallest observable objects on the solar photosphere. A combination of G-band observations and numerical simulations is used to determine their area distribution. An automatic detection algorithm, employing one-dimensional intensity profiling, is utilized to identify these structures in the observed and simulated data sets. Both distributions peak at an area of ?45,000 km2, with a sharp decrease toward smaller areas. The distributions conform with log-normal statistics, which suggests that flux fragmentation dominates over flux convergence. Radiative magneto-convection simulations indicate an independence in theMBP area distribution for differing magnetic flux densities. The most commonly occurring bright point size corresponds to the typical width of inter-granular lanes.