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Title: Long-term Longitudinal Recurrences of the Open Magnetic Flux Density in the Heliosphere

Abstract

Open magnetic flux in the heliosphere is determined from the radial component of the magnetic field vector measured onboard interplanetary space probes. Previous Ulysses research has shown remarkable independence of the flux density from heliographic latitude, explained by super-radial expansion of plasma. Here we are investigating whether any longitudinal variation exists in the 50 year long OMNI magnetic data set. The heliographic longitude of origin of the plasma package was determined by applying a correction according to the solar wind travel time. Significant recurrent enhancements of the magnetic flux density were observed throughout solar cycle 23, lasting for several years. Similar, long-lasting recurring features were observed in the solar wind velocity, temperature and the deviation angle of the solar wind velocity vector from the radial direction. Each of the recurrent features has a recurrence period slightly differing from the Carrington rotation rate, although they show a common trend in time. Examining the coronal temperature data of ACE leads to the possible explanation that these long-term structures are caused by slow–fast solar wind interaction regions. A comparison with MESSENGER data measured at 0.5 au shows that these longitudinal magnetic modulations do not exist closer to the Sun, but are the resultmore » of propagation.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1121 Budapest, Konkoly-Thege Miklós st 29-33 (Hungary)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22661203
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 838; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CORRECTIONS; EXPANSION; FLUX DENSITY; HELIOSPHERE; INTERACTIONS; INTERPLANETARY SPACE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC FLUX; MODULATION; PLASMA; ROTATION; SOLAR CYCLE; SOLAR WIND; SUN; VARIATIONS; VELOCITY

Citation Formats

Dósa, M., and Erdős, G., E-mail: dosa.melinda@wigner.mta.hu. Long-term Longitudinal Recurrences of the Open Magnetic Flux Density in the Heliosphere. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA657B.
Dósa, M., & Erdős, G., E-mail: dosa.melinda@wigner.mta.hu. Long-term Longitudinal Recurrences of the Open Magnetic Flux Density in the Heliosphere. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA657B.
Dósa, M., and Erdős, G., E-mail: dosa.melinda@wigner.mta.hu. Sat . "Long-term Longitudinal Recurrences of the Open Magnetic Flux Density in the Heliosphere". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/AA657B.
@article{osti_22661203,
title = {Long-term Longitudinal Recurrences of the Open Magnetic Flux Density in the Heliosphere},
author = {Dósa, M. and Erdős, G., E-mail: dosa.melinda@wigner.mta.hu},
abstractNote = {Open magnetic flux in the heliosphere is determined from the radial component of the magnetic field vector measured onboard interplanetary space probes. Previous Ulysses research has shown remarkable independence of the flux density from heliographic latitude, explained by super-radial expansion of plasma. Here we are investigating whether any longitudinal variation exists in the 50 year long OMNI magnetic data set. The heliographic longitude of origin of the plasma package was determined by applying a correction according to the solar wind travel time. Significant recurrent enhancements of the magnetic flux density were observed throughout solar cycle 23, lasting for several years. Similar, long-lasting recurring features were observed in the solar wind velocity, temperature and the deviation angle of the solar wind velocity vector from the radial direction. Each of the recurrent features has a recurrence period slightly differing from the Carrington rotation rate, although they show a common trend in time. Examining the coronal temperature data of ACE leads to the possible explanation that these long-term structures are caused by slow–fast solar wind interaction regions. A comparison with MESSENGER data measured at 0.5 au shows that these longitudinal magnetic modulations do not exist closer to the Sun, but are the result of propagation.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/AA657B},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 838,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • We studied the magnetic flux density carried by solar wind to various locations in the heliosphere, covering a heliospheric distance range of 0.3-5.4 AU and a heliolatitudinal range from 80° south to 80° north. Distributions of the radial component of the magnetic field, B{sub R} , were determined over long intervals from the Helios, ACE, STEREO, and Ulysses missions, as well as from using the 1 AU OMNI data set. We show that at larger distances from the Sun, the fluctuations of the magnetic field around the average Parker field line distort the distribution of B{sub R} to such anmore » extent that the determination of the unsigned, open solar magnetic flux density from the average (|B{sub R} |) is no longer justified. We analyze in detail two methods for reducing the effect of fluctuations. The two methods are tested using magnetic field and plasma velocity measurements in the OMNI database and in the Ulysses observations, normalized to 1 AU. It is shown that without such corrections for the fluctuations, the magnetic flux density measured by Ulysses around the aphelion phase of the orbit is significantly overestimated. However, the matching between the in-ecliptic magnetic flux density at 1 AU (OMNI data) and the off-ecliptic, more distant, normalized flux density by Ulysses is remarkably good if corrections are made for the fluctuations using either method. The main finding of the analysis is that the magnetic flux density in the heliosphere is fairly uniform, with no significant variations having been observed either in heliocentric distance or heliographic latitude.« less
  • In a long mean-free-path plasma where temperature anisotropy can be sustained, the parallel heat flux has two components with one associated with the parallel thermal energy and the other the perpendicular thermal energy. Due to the large deviation of the distribution function from local Maxwellian in an open field line plasma with low collisionality, the conventional perturbative calculation of the parallel heat flux closure in its local or non-local form is no longer applicable. Here, a non-perturbative calculation is presented for a collisionless plasma in a two-dimensional flux expander bounded by absorbing walls. Specifically, closures of previously unfamiliar form aremore » obtained for ions and electrons, which relate two distinct components of the species parallel heat flux to the lower order fluid moments such as density, parallel flow, parallel and perpendicular temperatures, and the field quantities such as the magnetic field strength and the electrostatic potential. The plasma source and boundary condition at the absorbing wall enter explicitly in the closure calculation. Although the closure calculation does not take into account wave-particle interactions, the results based on passing orbits from steady-state collisionless drift-kinetic equation show remarkable agreement with fully kinetic-Maxwell simulations. As an example of the physical implications of the theory, the parallel heat flux closures are found to predict a surprising observation in the kinetic-Maxwell simulation of the 2D magnetic flux expander problem, where the parallel heat flux of the parallel thermal energy flows from low to high parallel temperature region.« less
  • With multiple vantage points around the Sun, Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and Solar Dynamics Observatory imaging observations provide a unique opportunity to view the solar surface continuously. We use He ii 304 Å data from these observatories to isolate and track ten active regions and study their long-term evolution. We find that active regions typically follow a standard pattern of emergence over several days followed by a slower decay that is proportional in time to the peak intensity in the region. Since STEREO does not make direct observations of the magnetic field, we employ a flux-luminosity relationship to infermore » the total unsigned magnetic flux evolution. To investigate this magnetic flux decay over several rotations we use a surface flux transport model, the Advective Flux Transport model, that simulates convective flows using a time-varying velocity field and find that the model provides realistic predictions when information about the active region's magnetic field strength and distribution at peak flux is available. Finally, we illustrate how 304 Å images can be used as a proxy for magnetic flux measurements when magnetic field data is not accessible.« less
  • Observed meridional plasma flow and its connection with other plasma parameters in the outer heliosphere are discussed. The dynamics of the flow are examined locally and compared with observed plasma parameters and a global flow model which predicts such flows in a steady solar wind. The observational evidence supports stream dynamics and associated pressure gradients as responsible for driving the flow. Such a meridional flow may result in a net transport of magnetic flux from regions near the heliographic equator. The amplitude of the observed meridional component of solar wind flow is consistent with observed magnetic flux deficits in themore » outer heliosphere. The limited coverage of heliographic latitude by Voyager 2 precludes a direct measurement of the full flow pattern; however, the magnitude of reported magnetic flux deficits and the unambiguous, regular variations in the meridional flow suggest that the stream interactions do produce a net movement of magnetic flux away from the heliographic equator. copyright American Geophysical Union 1988« less