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Solar Physics

, 293:158 | Cite as

Polarity Imbalance of the Photospheric Magnetic Field

  • E. S. Vernova
  • M. I. Tyasto
  • D. G. Baranov
  • O. A. Danilova
Article

Abstract

The polarity sign imbalance of the photospheric magnetic field is examined using synoptic maps produced by the Kitt Peak National Solar Observatory (NSO) (1976 – 2016). An imbalance of fluxes with opposite sign polarities is analyzed for a field strength \(B>50\) G in the sunspot zone at latitudes \(5^{\circ}\,\mbox{--}\,40^{\circ}\) and for a field strength \(B<50\) G at higher latitudes \(40^{\circ}\,\mbox{--}\,90^{\circ}\). A 22-year periodicity in the imbalance of positive and negative fluxes is found; this periodicity is maintained during four solar cycles. While for the sunspot zone the sign of the imbalance always agrees with the polarity sign of the northern hemisphere polar field, for the high latitudes the sign of the imbalance always agrees with the polarity sign of the southern hemisphere polar field. A good agreement of the imbalance of high-latitude fields with the quadrupole moment of the photospheric magnetic field \(g_{20}\) is observed and also holds for the low-latitude fields, but with a reversed sign, i.e.\(-g_{20}\). The polarity sign imbalance of the sunspot zone correlates with the Sun’s mean magnetic field on the one hand, and with the sector structure of the heliospheric magnetic field on the other. The obtained results clearly show the interconnection of the magnetic fields in the activity zone with the Sun’s polar magnetic field. The weakest fields \(B<5\) G represent quite a special group, with the magnetic flux developing in antiphase to the fluxes of the stronger fields.

Keywords

Magnetic fields, photosphere Polarity sign imbalance, sunspot zone, polar field 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The NSO/Kitt Peak data used here are produced cooperatively by NSF/NOAO, NASA/GSFC, and NOAA/SEL. This work utilizes data acquired by the SOLIS instrument operated by NISP/NSO/AURA/NSF. The Wilcox Solar Observatory data used in this study are obtained via the web site http://wso.stanford.edu courtesy of J.T. Hoeksema. The authors express their gratitude to L. Svalgaard for providing data on the IMF sector structure polarity. We would like to thank the referee for constructive comments.

Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IZMIRAN, SPb. FilialLaboratory of Magnetospheric DisturbancesSt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Ioffe InstituteSt. PetersburgRussia

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