Commission 12 covers research on the internal structure and dynamics of the Sun, the “quiet” solar atmosphere, solar radiation and its variability, and the nature of relatively stable magnetic structures like sunspots, faculae and the magnetic network. There is considerable productive overlap with the other Commissions of Division II as investigations move progressively toward the fertile intellectual boundaries between traditional research disciplines. In large part, the solar magnetic field provides the linkage that connects these diverse themes. The same magnetic field that produces the more subtle variations of solar structure and radiative output over the 11 yr activity cycle is also implicated in rapid and often violent phenomena such as flares, coronal mass ejections, prominence eruptions, and episodes of sporadic magnetic reconnection.
The last three years have again brought significant progress in nearly all the research endeavors touched upon by the interests of Commission 12. The underlying causes for this success remain the same: sustained advances in computing capabilities coupled with diverse observations with increasing levels of spatial, temporal and spectral resolution. It is all but impossible to deal with these many advances here in anything except a cursory and selective fashion. Thankfully, the Living Reviews in Solar Physicsacute; has published several extensive reviews over the last two years that deal explicitly with issues relevant to the purview of Commission 12. The reader who is eager for a deeper and more complete understanding of some of these advances is directed to http://www.livingreviews.org for access to these articles.