Observing and modeling the poloidal and toroidal fields of the solar dynamo
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Received: 30 June 2017
Accepted: 19 October 2017
Context. The solar dynamo consists of a process that converts poloidal magnetic field to toroidal magnetic field followed by a process that creates new poloidal field from the toroidal field.
Aims. Our aim is to observe the poloidal and toroidal fields relevant to the global solar dynamo and to see if their evolution is captured by a Babcock-Leighton dynamo.
Methods. We used synoptic maps of the surface radial field from the KPNSO/VT and SOLIS observatories, to construct the poloidal field as a function of time and latitude; we also used full disk images from Wilcox Solar Observatory and SOHO/MDI to infer the longitudinally averaged surface azimuthal field. We show that the latter is consistent with an estimate of the longitudinally averaged surface azimuthal field due to flux emergence and therefore is closely related to the subsurface toroidal field.
Results. We present maps of the poloidal and toroidal magnetic fields of the global solar dynamo. The longitude-averaged azimuthal field observed at the surface results from flux emergence. At high latitudes this component follows the radial component of the polar fields with a short time lag of between 1−3 years. The lag increases at lower latitudes. The observed evolution of the poloidal and toroidal magnetic fields is described by the (updated) Babcock-Leighton dynamo model.
Key words: Sun: magnetic fields
© ESO, 2018