Solar Physics

, 292:13 | Cite as

High-Resolution Vector Magnetograms of the Sun’s Poles from Hinode: Flux Distributions and Global Coronal Modeling

  • Gordon PetrieEmail author


The Sun’s polar fields play a leading role in structuring the large-scale solar atmosphere and in determining the interplanetary magnetic field. They are also believed to supply the seed field for the subsequent solar activity cycle. However, present-day synoptic observations do not have sufficient spatial resolution or sensitivity to diagnose accurately the high-latitude magnetic vector field. The high spatial resolution and sensitivity of the full-Stokes observations from the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope Spectro-Polarimeter, observing the poles long-term, allows us to build up a detailed picture of the Cycle 24 polar field reversal, including the changing latitude distribution of the high-latitude flux, and to study the effect on global coronal field models. The Hinode observations provide detailed information on the dominant facular-scale magnetic structure of the polar fields, and their field inclination and flux distribution. Hybrid synoptic magnetograms are constructed from Hinode polar measurements and full-disk magnetograms from the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun (SOLIS) Vector Spectro-Magnetograph (VSM), and coronal potential field models are calculated. Loss of effective spatial resolution at the highest latitudes presents complications. Possible improvements to synoptic polar data are discussed.


Magnetic fields, photosphere Solar poles Coronal field modeling Solar cycle 



The author thanks Rebecca Centeno Elliott for information and assistance in obtaining the Hinode SOT/SP vector magnetograms. Hinode is a Japanese mission developed and launched by ISAS/ JAXA, collaborating with NAOJ as a domestic partner, NASA and STFC (UK) as international partners. Scientific operation of the Hinode mission is conducted by the Hinode science team organized at ISAS/JAXA. This team mainly consists of scientists from institutes in the partner countries. Support for the post-launch operation is provided by JAXA and NAOJ (Japan), STFC (U.K.), NASA, ESA, and NSC (Norway). SOLIS data used here are produced cooperatively by NSF/NSO and NASA/LWS. This work utilizes data obtained by the NSO Integrated Synoptic Program (NISP) Global Oscillations Network Group (GONG), managed by the National Solar Observatory, which is operated by AURA, Inc. under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The data were acquired by instruments operated by the Big Bear Solar Observatory, High Altitude Observatory, Learmonth Solar Observatory, Udaipur Solar Observatory, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, and Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory.

Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Solar ObservatoryBoulderUSA

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