Solar Physics

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 225–239 | Cite as

The strength of the Sun's polar fields

  • Leif Svalgaard
  • Thomas L. DuvallJr.
  • Philip H. Scherrer


The magnetic field strength within the polar caps of the Sun is an important parameter for both the solar activity cycle and for our understanding of the interplanetary magnetic field. Measurements of the line-of-sight component of the magnetic field generally yield 0.1 to 0.2 mT near times of sunspot minimum. In this paper we report measurements of the polar fields made at the Stanford Solar Observatory using the Fe i line λ 525.02 nm. We find that the average flux density poleward of 55° latitude is about 0.6 mT peaking to more than 1 mT at the pole and decreasing to 0.2 mT at the polar cap boundary. The total open flux through either polar cap thus becomes about 3 × 1014 Wb. We also show that observed magnetic field strengths vary as the line-of-sight component of nearly radial fields.


Magnetic Field Field Strength Flux Density Solar Activity Magnetic Field Strength 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leif Svalgaard
    • 1
  • Thomas L. DuvallJr.
    • 1
  • Philip H. Scherrer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Plasma Research, Stanford UniversityStanfordU.S.A.

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