Periodic Appearance of Coronal Holes and the Related Variation of Solar Wind Parameters
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We compared the variability of coronal hole (CH) areas (determined from daily GOES/SXI images) with solar wind (daily ACE data) and geomagnetic parameters for the time span 25 January 2005 until 11 September 2005 (late declining phase of solar cycle 23). Applying wavelet spectral analysis, a clear 9-day period is found in the CH time series. The GOES/SXI image sequence suggests that this periodic variation is caused by a mutual triangular distribution of CHs ∼120° apart in longitude. From solar wind parameters a 9-day periodicity was obtained as well, simultaneously with the 9-day period in the CH area time series. These findings provide strong evidence that the 9-day period in solar wind parameters, showing up as higher harmonic of the solar rotation frequency, is caused by the “periodic” longitudinal distribution of CHs on the Sun recurring for several solar rotations. The shape of the wavelet spectrum from the Dst index matches only weakly with that from the CH areas and is more similar to the wavelet spectrum of the solar wind magnetic field magnitude. The distinct 9-day period does not show up in sunspot group areas which gives further evidence that the solar wind modulation is strongly related to CH areas but not to active region complexes. The wavelet power spectra for the whole ACE data range (∼1998 – 2006) suggest that the 9-day period is not a singular phenomenon occurring only during a specific time range close to solar minimum but is occasionally also present during the maximum and decay phase of solar cycle 23. The main periods correspond to the solar rotation (27d) as well as to the second (13.5d) and third (9d) harmonic.
KeywordsCoronal holes Solar wind Space weather
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