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X-ray Bright Point

The tiny brightening shown circled is an "X-ray Bright Point". These occur sporadically anywhere on the Sun, as opposed to the larger "active regions" which are concentrated at lower latitudes. The bright points themselves are bipolar, and are now thought mainly to be places where magnetic fields - on small scales - are being sucked down below the photosphere. The brightness is due to magnetic reconnection as this happens; Yohkoh and radio data have been instrumental in showing that this process involves strongly non-thermal effects just as flares do (particle acceleration, and the ejection of jets of hot plasma).

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