Volume 534, October 2011
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Published online||29 September 2011|
Statistical properties of superactive regions during solar cycles 19–23⋆
Key Laboratory of Solar Activity of Chinese Academy of Sciences, National
Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, PR
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
2 National Center for Space Weather, China Meteorological Administration, PR China
3 Helio research, 5212 Maryland Avenue, La Crescenta, USA
Received: 26 February 2011
Accepted: 20 August 2011
Context. Each solar activity cycle is characterized by a small number of superactive regions (SARs) that produce the most violent of space weather events with the greatest disastrous influence on our living environment.
Aims. We aim to re-parameterize the SARs and study the latitudinal and longitudinal distributions of SARs.
Methods. We select 45 SARs in solar cycles 21–23, according to the following four parameters: 1) the maximum area of sunspot group, 2) the soft X-ray flare index, 3) the 10.7 cm radio peak flux, and 4) the variation in the total solar irradiance. Another 120 SARs given by previous studies of solar cycles 19–23 are also included. The latitudinal and longitudinal distributions of the 165 SARs in both the Carrington frame and the dynamic reference frame during solar cycles 19–23 are studied statistically.
Results. Our results indicate that these 45 SARs produced 44% of all the X class X-ray flares during solar cycles 21–23, and that all the SARs are likely to produce a very fast CME. The latitudinal distributions of SARs display the Maunder butterfly diagrams and SARs occur preferentially in the maximum period of each solar cycle. Northern hemisphere SARs dominated in solar cycles 19 and 20 and southern hemisphere SARs dominated in solar cycles 21 and 22. In solar cycle 23, however, SARs occurred about equally in each hemisphere. There are two active longitudes in both the northern and southern hemispheres, about 160°–200° apart. Applying the improved dynamic reference frame to SARs, we find that SARs rotate faster than the Carrington rate and there is no significant difference between the two hemispheres. The synodic periods are 27.19 days and 27.25 days for the northern and southern hemispheres, respectively. The longitudinal distribution of SARs is significantly non-axisymmetric and about 75% SARs occurred near two active longitudes with half widths of 45°.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: rotation / sunspots
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2011
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