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Title: Solar photospheric network properties and their cycle variation

We present a numerical simulation of the formation and evolution of the solar photospheric magnetic network over a full solar cycle. The model exhibits realistic behavior as it produces large, unipolar concentrations of flux in the polar caps, a power-law flux distribution with index –1.69, a flux replacement timescale of 19.3 hr, and supergranule diameters of 20 Mm. The polar behavior is especially telling of model accuracy, as it results from lower-latitude activity, and accumulates the residues of any potential modeling inaccuracy and oversimplification. In this case, the main oversimplification is the absence of a polar sink for the flux, causing an amount of polar cap unsigned flux larger than expected by almost one order of magnitude. Nonetheless, our simulated polar caps carry the proper signed flux and dipole moment, and also show a spatial distribution of flux in good qualitative agreement with recent high-latitude magnetographic observations by Hinode. After the last cycle emergence, the simulation is extended until the network has recovered its quiet Sun initial condition. This permits an estimate of the network relaxation time toward the baseline state characterizing extended periods of suppressed activity, such as the Maunder Grand Minimum. Our simulation results indicate a network relaxationmore » time of 2.9 yr, setting 2011 October as the soonest the time after which the last solar activity minimum could have qualified as a Maunder-type Minimum. This suggests that photospheric magnetism did not reach its baseline state during the recent extended minimum between cycles 23 and 24.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Département de Physique et Calcul Québec, Université de Montréal, 2900 Édouard-Montpetit, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370206
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 796; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCURACY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CONCENTRATION RATIO; DIPOLE MOMENTS; ELEMENT ABUNDANCE; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETISM; PHOTOSPHERE; RELAXATION TIME; SOLAR CYCLE; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; STAR EVOLUTION; SUN; SUNSPOTS