High-resolution studies of the polar magnetic fields during Cycle 23

John Varsik, C. J. Durrant, J. Turner, P. R. Wilson

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High-resolution mosaics of the solar polar magnetic fields have been constructed using individual magnetograms obtained with the video magnetograph of the Big Bear Solar Observatory, and the properties of these mosaics are demonstrated in this paper. The mosaics show selected regions of the polar fields on several days during the rising phase of Cycle 23, and are related to the global polar fields (i) by superposing the mosaic for a given day on to a full-disk SOHO-MDI magnetogram obtained on the same day, (ii) by plotting the mosaics in polar projection and using these to identify the approximate regions reported by the mosaics on the NSOKP polar synoptic plots, and (iii) by imposing the locations of the Hα filaments on to the mosaics in order to infer the neutral lines of the large-scale fields. We have studied the fine structure of the large-scale unipolar fields near the poles and, in particular, have constructed histograms of the magnetic field intensities within particular regions of the mosaics and, in this way, have estimated the ratios of the number of magnetic knots of opposite polarities within the unipolar plumes. We have also generated enlargements of the polar regions of the NSOKP daily magnetograms. These and statistical studies have shown that on days for which the BBSO mosaics are not available, the NSOKP enlargements may be used to study the high-resolution polar fields. Time-series of mosaics obtained over four-hour periods on September 6 and November 18 show that considerable evolution in the structure of existing flux knots and the formation of several new knots has taken place during these periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number391908
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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