Southward shift of the coronal neutral line and the heliospheric current sheet: Evidence for radial evolution of hemispheric asymmetry
ReSoLVE Centre of Excellence, Space Climate research unit, University of Oulu, PO Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Accepted: 3 August 2018
Aims. The heliospheric current sheet (HCS) has been observed to be southward shifted in the late declining to minimum phase of the solar cycle. Here we study the existence of a simultaneous shift in the heliosphere and in the corona using a robust new method.
Methods. We use the synoptic maps of the photospheric field of the Wilcox Solar Observatory (WSO) and the Mount Wilson Observatory (MWO) together with the potential field source surface (PFSS) model to calculate the coronal magnetic field and compare it with the simultaneous heliospheric magnetic field of the NASA/NSSDC OMNI 2 dataset. We divide the magnetic field into the two sectors, towards (T) and away (A) from the Sun, and calculate how often the sector polarities at 1 AU and in the corona match each other. We divide the sectors both at 1 AU and in the corona. We also calculate the annual (T − A)/(T + A) ratios of sector occurrence both at 1 AU and in the corona.
Results. We verify that the HCS/neutral line is southward shifted both in the corona and heliosphere. We find that the coronal shift is systematically larger than the simultaneous heliospheric shift.
Conclusions. The fact that the southward shift of the coronal neutral line is larger than the simultaneous shift of the heliospheric current sheet at 1 AU implies that the radial evolution of the magnetic field between the two sites is different between the northern and southern hemispheres.
Key words: Sun: corona / Sun: heliosphere / Sun: magnetic fields
© ESO 2018