skip to main content

Title: ON THE STRENGTH OF THE HEMISPHERIC RULE AND THE ORIGIN OF ACTIVE-REGION HELICITY

Vector magnetograph and morphological observations have shown that the solar magnetic field tends to have negative (positive) helicity in the northern (southern) hemisphere, although only ∼60%-70% of active regions appear to obey this 'hemispheric rule'. In contrast, at least ∼80% of quiescent filaments and filament channels that form during the decay of active regions follow the rule. We attribute this discrepancy to the difficulty in determining the helicity sign of newly emerged active regions, which are dominated by their current-free component; as the transverse field is canceled at the polarity inversion lines, however, the axial component becomes dominant there, allowing a more reliable determination of the original active-region chirality. We thus deduce that the hemispheric rule is far stronger than generally assumed, and cannot be explained by stochastic processes. Earlier studies have shown that the twist associated with the axial tilt of active regions is too small to account for the observed helicity; here, both tilt and twist are induced by the Coriolis force acting on the diverging flow in the emerging flux tube. However, in addition to this east-west expansion about the apex of the loop, each of its legs must expand continually in cross section during its risemore » through the convection zone, thereby acquiring a further twist through the Coriolis force. Since this transverse pressure effect is not limited by drag or tension forces, the final twist depends mainly on the rise time, and may be large enough to explain the observed active-region helicity.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22224074
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 775; 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; CHIRALITY; CONVECTION; CORIOLIS FORCE; FILAMENTS; HELICITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; ORIGIN; PULSE RISE TIME; SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE; STOCHASTIC PROCESSES; SUN; SUNSPOTS