Increase of the magnetic flux from polar zones of the sun in the last 120 years
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Solar physics. - Dordrecht
, p. 383-399
University of Antwerp
Lockwood, Stamper, and Wild (1999) argued that the average strength of the magnetic field of the Sun has doubled in the last 100 years. They used an analysis of the geomagnetic index <aa>. We calculated the area of polar zones of the Sun, A(p)z, occupied by unipolar magnetic field on Halpha synoptic magnetic charts, following Makarov (1994), from 1878 to 2000. We found a gradual decrease of the annual minimum latitude of the high-latitude zone boundaries, theta(2m), of the global magnetic field of the Sun at the minimum of activity from 53degrees in 1878 down to 38degrees in 1996, yielding an average decrease of 1.2degrees per cycle. Consequently the area of polar zones A(p)z of the Sun, occupied by unipolar magnetic field at the minimum activity, has risen by a factor of 2 during 1878-1996. This means that the behavior of the index <aa> and consequently the magnetic flux from the Sun may be explained by an increase of the area of polar caps with roughly the same value of the magnetic field in this period. The area of the unipolar magnetic field at the poles (A(pz)) may be used as a new index of magnetic activity of the Sun. We compared A(pz) with the <aa>, the Wolf number <W> and <A>(*) -index (Makarov and Tlatov, 2000). Correlations based on '11-year' averages are discussed. A temperature difference of about 1degrees between the Maunder Minimum and the present time was deduced. We have found that the highest latitude of the polar zone boundaries of the large-scale magnetic field during very low solar activity reaches about 60degrees, cf., the Maunder Minimum. It is supposed that the theta(2)m-latitude coincides with the latitude where partial derivative(r)omega=0, with omega(r,theta) being the angular frequency of the solar rotation. The causes of the waxing and waning of the Sun's activity in conditions like Maunder Minimum are discussed.