Topological aspects of global magnetic field reversal in the solar corona

R. C. Maclean, E. R. Priest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Every eleven years on average, the dipolar component of the Sun's global coronal magnetic field reverses in sign - a consequence of the sunspot cycle. In this paper we begin to investigate the complex changes in coronal structure during the reversal. We present a simplified model of the solar cycle containing six time-varying photospheric sources of magnetic field and analyse the evolution of the global coronal field using the technique of magnetic charge topology. Surprisingly, a sequence of seventeen topological changes takes place in the model between one solar minimum state and the next; many of the resultant topological configurations correspond to observable magnetic field structures in the real corona. We also show how descriptions of all the six-source topological states from the model can be built up in terms of combinations of simpler four-source states, providing a framework for future descriptions of even more complicated topological states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-191
Number of pages21
JournalSolar Physics
Volume243
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • LARGE-SCALE CORONA
  • FLUX EMERGENCE
  • SPHERICAL GEOMETRY
  • MERIDIONAL FLOW
  • CYCLE
  • SUN
  • RECONNECTION
  • EVOLUTION
  • MODEL
  • SEPARATORS

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