Solar Physics

, Volume 195, Issue 2, pp 247–268 | Cite as

An Evolving Synoptic Magnetic Flux map and Implications for the Distribution of Photospheric Magnetic Flux

  • John Worden
  • John Harvey


We describe a procedure intended to produce accurate daily estimates of the magnetic flux distribution on the entire solar surface. Models of differential rotation, meridional flow, supergranulation, and the random emergence of background flux elements are used to regularly update unobserved or poorly observed portions of an initial traditional magnetic synoptic map that acts as a seed. Fresh observations replace model estimates when available. Application of these surface magnetic transport models gives us new insight into the distribution and evolution of magnetic flux on the Sun, especially at the poles where canopy effects, limited spatial resolution, and foreshortening result in poor measurements. We find that meridional circulation has a considerable effect on the distribution of polar magnetic fields. We present a modeled polar field distribution as well as time series of the difference between the northern and southern polar magnetic flux; this flux imbalance is related to the heliospheric current sheet tilt. We also estimate that the amount of new background magnetic flux needed to sustain the `quiet-Sun' magnetic field is about 1.1×1023 Mx d−1 (equivalent to several large active regions) at the spatial resolution and epoch of our maps. We comment on the diffusive properties of supergranules, ephemeral regions, and intranetwork flux. The maps are available on the NSO World Wide Web page.


Magnetic Flux Current Sheet Heliospheric Current Sheet Meridional Flow Polar Magnetic Field 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Worden
    • 1
    • 2
  • John Harvey
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.National Solar ObservatoryUSA
  2. 2.National Optical Astronomy ObservatoriesTucsonU.S.A.

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