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


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.


Integrated Sun observations Magnetic fields Photosphere Active regions Magnetic fields 



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.


  1. Abramenko, V.I.: 2013, Proc. IAU Symp. 294, 289.  DOI. ADS. ADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Abramenko, V., Yurchyshyn, V., Wang, H.: 2008, Astrophys. J. 681, 1669.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Abramenko, V., Yurchyshyn, V., Goode, P., Kilcik, A.: 2010, Astrophys. J. 725, L101.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benkhalil, A., Zharkova, V.V., Zharkov, S., Ipson, S.: 2006, Solar Phys. 235, 87.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boberg, F., Lundstedt, H., Hoeksema, J.T., Scherrer, P.H., Liu, W.: 2002, J. Geophys. Res. A 107, 1318.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bremer, J.: 1996, Ann. Geophys. 39, 713.  DOI. Google Scholar
  7. Demidov, M.L.: 1995, Solar Phys. 159, 23.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Demidov, M.: 2011, Physics of Sun and Star Spots 273, 56.  DOI. ADS. Google Scholar
  9. Frisch, U.: 1995, Turbulence, The Legacy of A.N. Kolmogorov/U. Frisch, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 296 p. Google Scholar
  10. García, R.A., Boumier, P., Charra, J., Foglizzo, T., Gabriel, A.H., Grec, G., Régulo, C., Robillot, J.M., Turck-Chièze, S., Ulrich, R.K.: 1999, Astron. Astrophys. 346, 626. ADS. ADSGoogle Scholar
  11. Hagenaar, H.J.: 2001, Astrophys. J. 555, 448.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hagenaar, H.J., Schrijver, C.J., Title, A.M.: 2003, Astrophys. J. 584, 1107.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Haneychuk, V.I., Kotov, V.A., Tsap, T.T.: 2003, Astron. Astrophys. 403, 1115.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ishikawa, R., Tsuneta, S.: 2010, Astrophys. J. 718, L171.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ishikawa, R., Tsuneta, S.: 2011, Astrophys. J. 735, 74.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Karak, B.B., Brandenburg, A.: 2016, Astrophys. J. 816, 28.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kotov, V.A., Stepanian, N.N., Shcherbakova, Z.A.: 1977, Izv. Ordena Tr. Krasn. Znam. Krym. Astrofiz. Obs. 56, 75 (in Russian). ADS. ADSGoogle Scholar
  18. Kutsenko, A.S., Abramenko, V.I.: 2016, Solar Phys. 291, 1613.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lawrence, J.K., Ruzmaikin, A.A., Cadavid, A.C.: 1993, Astrophys. J. 417, 805.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lites, B.W., Kubo, M., Socas-Navarro, H., Berger, T., Frank, Z., Shine, R., Tarbell, T., Title, A., Ichimoto, K., Katsukawa, Y., Tsuneta, S., Suematsu, Y., Shimizu, T., Nagata, S.: 2008, Astrophys. J. 672, 1237.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Liu, Y., Hoeksema, J.T., Scherrer, P.H., Schou, J., Couvidat, S., Bush, R.I., Duvall, T.L., Hayashi, K., Sun, X., Zhao, X.: 2012, Solar Phys. 279, 295.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Livingston, W., Donnelly, R.F., Grigoryev, V., et al.: 1991, In: Cox, A.N., Livingston, W.C., Matthews, M.S. (eds.) Solar Interior and Atmosphere, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson. Google Scholar
  23. McAteer, R.T.J., Aschwanden, M.J., Dimitropoulou, M., Georgoulis, M.K., Pruessner, G., Morales, L., Ireland, J., Abramenko, V.: 2016, Space Sci. Rev. 198, 217.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Milovanov, A.V., Zelenyi, L.M., Zimbardo, G., Veltri, P.: 2001, J. Geophys. Res. 106, 6291.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Muñoz-Jaramillo, A., Senkpeil, R.R., Windmueller, J.C., Amouzou, E.C., Longcope, D.W., Tlatov, A.G., Nagovitsyn, Y.A., Pevtsov, A.A., Chapman, G.A., Cookson, A.M., Yeates, A.R., Watson, F.T., Balmaceda, L.A., DeLuca, E.E., Martens, P.C.H.: 2015, Astrophys. J. 800, 48.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pustil’nik, L.A.: 1999, Astron. Astrophys. Trans. 18, 227.  DOI. ADS. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schatten, K.H.: 2007, Astrophys. J. Suppl. 169, 137.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Scherrer, P.H., Wilcox, J.M., Kotov, V., Severnyi, A.B., Howard, R.: 1977, Solar Phys. 52, 3.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Scherrer, P.H., Schou, J., Bush, R.I., Kosovichev, A.G., Bogart, R.S., Hoeksema, J.T., Liu, Y., Duvall, T.L., Zhao, J., Title, A.M., Schrijver, C.J., Tarbell, T.D., Tomczyk, S.: 2012, Solar Phys. 275, 207.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schou, J., Scherrer, P.H., Bush, R.I., Wachter, R., Couvidat, S., Rabello-Soares, M.C., Bogart, R.S., Hoeksema, J.T., Liu, Y., Duvall, T.L., Akin, D.J., Allard, B.A., Miles, J.W., Rairden, R., Shine, R.A., Tarbell, T.D., Title, A.M., Wolfson, C.J., Elmore, D.F., Norton, A.A., Tomczyk, S.: 2012, Solar Phys. 275, 229.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Severny, A.B.: 1971, Q. J. Roy. Astron. Soc. 12, 363. ADS. ADSGoogle Scholar
  32. Severny, A., Wilcox, J.M., Scherrer, P.H., Colburn, D.S.: 1970, Solar Phys. 15, 3.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sheeley, N.R. Jr., DeVore, C.R.: 1986, Solar Phys. 103, 203.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sheeley, N.R. Jr., DeVore, C.R., Boris, J.P.: 1985, Solar Phys. 98, 219.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sheeley, N.R. Jr., Wang, Y.-M.: 2015, Astrophys. J. 809, 113. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. van Driel-Gesztelyi, L., Green, L.M.: 2015, Living Rev. Solar Phys. 12, 1. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wentzel, D.G., Seiden, P.E.: 1992, Astrophys. J. 390, 280.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Xiang, N.B., Qu, Z.N.: 2016, Astron. J. 151, 76.  DOI. ADS. ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations