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Title: Evolution of the interplanetary magnetic field

Abstract

Remote observations of magnetic field topologies in the solar corona and in situ observations of the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) in interplanetary space are used to examine the temporal evolution of the spatial distribution of open and closed field regions emanating from the Sun. The simple ``open`` configuration of inward and outward pointing sectors in the IMF is periodically disrupted by magnetically distinct coronal mass ejections (CMEs) which erupt from previously closed magnetic field regions in the corona into interplanetary space. At 1 AU, CMEs contain counterstreaming halo electrons which indicate their distinct magnetic topologies. This topology is generally thought to be: plasmoids that are completely disconnected from the Sun; magnetic ``bottles,`` still tied to the corona at both ends; or flux ropes which are only partially disconnected. Fully disconnected plasmoids would have no long term effect on the amount of open flux; however, both in situ observations of details of the halo electron distributions and remote coronagraph observations of radial fields following CMEs indicate that CMEs generally do retain at least partial attached to the Sun. Both the magnetic-bottle and flux rope geometries require some mitigating process to close off previously open fields in order tomore » avoid a flux catastrophe. In addition, the average amount of magnetic flux observed in interplanetary space varies over the solar cycle, also indicating that there must be ways in which new flux is opened and previously open flux is closed off. The most likely scenario for closing off open magnetic fields is for reconnection to occurs above helmet streamers, where oppositely directed field regions are juxtaposed in the corona. These events would serve to return closed field arches to the Sun and release open, U-shaped structures into the solar wind.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Department of Defense, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
10156234
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-93-1159; CONF-9302115-2
ON: DE93012631
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: AGU monograph/solar system plasma physics meeting on resolution of processes in space and time,Yosemite, CA (United States),Feb 1993; Other Information: PBD: [1993]
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; INTERPLANETARY MAGNETIC FIELDS; EVALUATION; SOLAR CORONA; SOLAR WIND; HEAT FLUX; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; 661300; OTHER ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE

Citation Formats

McComas, D.J. Evolution of the interplanetary magnetic field. United States: N. p., 1993. Web.
McComas, D.J. Evolution of the interplanetary magnetic field. United States.
McComas, D.J. Sat . "Evolution of the interplanetary magnetic field". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10156234.
@article{osti_10156234,
title = {Evolution of the interplanetary magnetic field},
author = {McComas, D.J.},
abstractNote = {Remote observations of magnetic field topologies in the solar corona and in situ observations of the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) in interplanetary space are used to examine the temporal evolution of the spatial distribution of open and closed field regions emanating from the Sun. The simple ``open`` configuration of inward and outward pointing sectors in the IMF is periodically disrupted by magnetically distinct coronal mass ejections (CMEs) which erupt from previously closed magnetic field regions in the corona into interplanetary space. At 1 AU, CMEs contain counterstreaming halo electrons which indicate their distinct magnetic topologies. This topology is generally thought to be: plasmoids that are completely disconnected from the Sun; magnetic ``bottles,`` still tied to the corona at both ends; or flux ropes which are only partially disconnected. Fully disconnected plasmoids would have no long term effect on the amount of open flux; however, both in situ observations of details of the halo electron distributions and remote coronagraph observations of radial fields following CMEs indicate that CMEs generally do retain at least partial attached to the Sun. Both the magnetic-bottle and flux rope geometries require some mitigating process to close off previously open fields in order to avoid a flux catastrophe. In addition, the average amount of magnetic flux observed in interplanetary space varies over the solar cycle, also indicating that there must be ways in which new flux is opened and previously open flux is closed off. The most likely scenario for closing off open magnetic fields is for reconnection to occurs above helmet streamers, where oppositely directed field regions are juxtaposed in the corona. These events would serve to return closed field arches to the Sun and release open, U-shaped structures into the solar wind.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat May 01 00:00:00 EDT 1993},
month = {Sat May 01 00:00:00 EDT 1993}
}

Conference:
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