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The Global Context of Solar Activity During the Whole Heliosphere Interval Campaign

Abstract

The Whole Heliosphere Interval (WHI) was an international observing and modeling effort to characterize the 3-D interconnected “heliophysical” system during this solar minimum, centered on Carrington Rotation 2068, March 20 – April 16, 2008. During the latter half of the WHI period, the Sun presented a sunspot-free, deep solar minimum type face. But during the first half of CR 2068 three solar active regions flanked by two opposite-polarity, low-latitude coronal holes were present. These departures from the quiet Sun led to both eruptive activity and solar wind structure. Most of the eruptive activity, i.e., flares, filament eruptions and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), occurred during this first, active half of the interval. We determined the source locations of the CMEs and the type of associated region, such as active region, or quiet sun or active region prominence. To analyze the evolution of the events in the context of the global solar magnetic field and its evolution during the three rotations centered on CR 2068, we plotted the CME source locations onto synoptic maps of the photospheric magnetic field, of the magnetic and chromospheric structure, of the white light corona, and of helioseismological subsurface flows. Most of the CME sources were associated with the three dominant active regions on CR 2068, particularly AR 10989. Most of the other sources on all three CRs appear to have been associated with either isolated filaments or filaments in the north polar crown filament channel. Although calculations of the flux balance and helicity of the surface magnetic features did not clearly identify a dominance of one region over the others, helioseismological subsurface flows beneath these active regions did reveal a pronounced difference among them. These preliminary results suggest that the “twistedness” (i.e., vorticity and helicity) of subsurface flows and its temporal variation might be related to the CME productivity of active regions, similar to the relationship between flares and subsurface flows.

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Correspondence to D. F. Webb.

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The Sun – Earth Connection near Solar Minimum

Guest Editors: M.M. Bisi, B.A. Emery, and B.J. Thompson

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Webb, D.F., Cremades, H., Sterling, A.C. et al. The Global Context of Solar Activity During the Whole Heliosphere Interval Campaign. Sol Phys 274, 57–86 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-011-9787-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11207-011-9787-5

Keywords

  • Coronal mass ejections, origins
  • Solar synoptic maps
  • Helioseismology, subsurface flows