Volume 396, Number 2, December III 2002
|Page(s)||657 - 666|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||03 December 2002|
Coronal holes and the solar polar field reversal
Sternberg State Astronomical Institute, Universitetsky pr. 13, 119899 Moscow, Russia
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 5 September 2002
The relationship between the solar polar magnetic field reversal and coronal hole evolution is investigated for the time interval from 1996 to 2001. The distribution of coronal holes shows some evolutionary changes in relation to the polarity reversals, and these changes appear to be coordinated with changes in the global magnetic field structure, suggesting that the polar reversal originates from global processes. There are periods when the character of the coronal hole distribution on the solar disk changes significantly, indicating that the magnetic field structure changes. These can be interpreted as periods of rearrangement of the multipole magnetic field structure. It is found that the evolution of the geometric structure of the photospheric magnetic field during these periods is not characterized by a continuous transition from one dominant structure to another, but by relatively sudden rearrangement of the dominant geometrical structure of the magnetic field. These coronal holes and photospheric magnetic field rearrangements coincide with the polar photospheric magnetic field strength variations. The minimum phase of the solar cycle is dominated by the dipole component of the global solar magnetic field. The zonal magnetic field structure and zonal non-polar coronal hole distribution existed at that time. The sectorial magnetic field structure appears when the polar field strength reaches 0.7 of its maximum value in the corresponding hemisphere. This structure was established at different times in each hemisphere. In the north hemisphere it has existed since November 1998 and in the south hemisphere it has existed since October 1997. The rearrangement from one configuration to another occurs during a short time period, about solar rotations. The coronal hole number and area evolution indicates a redistribution of positive-polarity and negative-polarity photospheric magnetic fields inside these longitudinal sectors, which reflects the solar polar field reversal.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: magnetic fields / Sun: corona / Sun: photosphere
© ESO, 2002
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