Volume 625, May 2019
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Published online||07 May 2019|
Can the long-term hemispheric asymmetry of solar activity result from fluctuations in dynamo parameters?
Institute for Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Lermontov Str. 126A, Irkutsk 664033, Russia
2 Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala, Bangalore 560034, India
3 Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India, IISER Kolkata, Mohanpur 741246, West Bengal, India
Accepted: 25 March 2019
Context. The hemispheric asymmetry of sunspot activity observed possesses a regular component varying on a timescale of several solar cycles whose origin and properties are currently debated.
Aims This paper addresses the question of whether the long-term hemispheric asymmetry can result from random variations of solar dynamo parameters in time and latitude.
Methods. Scatter in the observed tilt angles of sunspot groups was estimated to infer constraints on fluctuations in the dynamo mechanism for poloidal field regeneration. A dynamo model with fluctuations in the Babcock-Leighton type α-effect was designed in accordance with these constraints and then used to compute a large number of magnetic cycles for statistical analyses of their hemispheric asymmetry.
Results Hemispheric asymmetry in the simulated dynamo results from the presence of an equator-symmetric part in the oscillating magnetic field. The sub-dominant quadrupolar oscillations are stochastically forced by dominant dipolar oscillations via the equator-symmetric part of the fluctuating α-effect. The amplitude and sense of the asymmetry of individual cycles varies on a timescale of the order of four dynamo-cycle periods. The variations are irregular and not periodic. The model suggests that asymmetry in the polar magnetic fields in the solar minima can be used as a precursor for asymmetry of sunspot activity in the following solar cycle.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: magnetic fields / dynamo
© ESO 2019
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