Impact of an L5 magnetograph on nonpotential solar global magnetic field modeling

Duncan Hendry Mackay, Anthony Robinson Yeates, Francois-Xavier Bocquet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We present the first theoretical study to consider what improvement could be obtained in global nonpotential modeling of the solar corona if magnetograph data were available from the L5 Lagrange point, in addition to from the direction of Earth. To consider this, we first carry out a "reference Sun" simulation over two solar cycles. An important property of this simulation is that random bipole emergences are allowed across the entire solar surface at any given time (such as can occur on the Sun). Next we construct two "limited data" simulations, where bipoles are only included when they could be seen from (i) an Earth-based magnetograph and (ii) either Earth- or L5 based magnetographs. The improvement in reproducing the reference Sun simulation when an L5 view is available is quantified through considering global quantities in the limited data simulations. These include surface and polar flux, total magnetic energy, volume electric current, open flux and the number of flux ropes. Results show that when an L5 observational viewpoint is included, the accuracy of the global quantities in the limited data simulations can increase by 26-40%. This clearly shows that a magnetograph at the L5 point could significantly increase the accuracy of global nonpotential modeling and with this the accuracy of future space weather forecasts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number131
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2016


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: corona
  • Sun: magnetic fields


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