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Solar Physics

, 292:121 | Cite as

Contribution to the Solar Mean Magnetic Field from Different Solar Regions

  • A. S. Kutsenko
  • V. I. Abramenko
  • V. B. Yurchyshyn
Article

Abstract

Seven-year-long seeing-free observations of solar magnetic fields with the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) were used to study the sources of the solar mean magnetic field, SMMF, defined as the net line-of-sight magnetic flux divided over the solar disk area. To evaluate the contribution of different regions to the SMMF, we separated all the pixels of each SDO/HMI magnetogram into three subsets: weak (\(B^{\mathrm{W}}\)), intermediate (\(B^{\mathrm{I}}\)), and strong (\(B^{\mathrm{S}}\)) fields. The \(B^{\mathrm{W}}\) component represents areas with magnetic flux densities below the chosen threshold; the \(B^{\mathrm{I}}\) component is mainly represented by network fields, remains of decayed active regions (ARs), and ephemeral regions. The \(B^{\mathrm{S}}\) component consists of magnetic elements in ARs. To derive the contribution of a subset to the total SMMF, the linear regression coefficients between the corresponding component and the SMMF were calculated. We found that i) when the threshold level of 30 Mx cm−2 is applied, the \(B^{\mathrm{I}}\) and \(B^{\mathrm{S}}\) components together contribute from 65% to 95% of the SMMF, while the fraction of the occupied area varies in a range of 2 – 6% of the disk area; ii) as the threshold magnitude is lowered to 6 Mx cm−2, the contribution from \(B^{\mathrm{I}}+B^{\mathrm{S}}\) grows to 98%, and the fraction of the occupied area reaches a value of about 40% of the solar disk. In summary, we found that regardless of the threshold level, only a small part of the solar disk area contributes to the SMMF. This means that the photospheric magnetic structure is an intermittent inherently porous medium, resembling a percolation cluster. These findings suggest that the long-standing concept that continuous vast unipolar areas on the solar surface are the source of the SMMF may need to be reconsidered.

Keywords

Integrated Sun observations Magnetic fields Photosphere Active regions Magnetic fields 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the anonymous referees for their criticism and the questions they raised that helped us to improve the article. SDO is a mission for NASA’s Living With a Star (LWS) program. The SDO/HMI data were provided by the Joint Science Operation Center (JSOC). The reported study was supported in part by the RFBR research projects 16-42-910493, 16-02-00221 A, 17-02-00049 A and the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Science Program 7. VYu acknowledges support from AFOSR FA9550-15-1-0322 and NSF AGS-1250818 grants.

Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crimean Astrophysical ObservatoryRussian Academy of Science, NauchnyBakhchisarayRussia
  2. 2.Central (Pulkovo) Astronomical ObservatoryRussian Academy of Science (GAO RAN)Saint-PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Big Bear Solar ObservatoryNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyBig Bear CityUSA

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