Tuesday, March 5, 2013

1303.0349 (Dibyendu Nandy et al.)

The unusual minimum of sunspot cycle 23 a consequence of Sun's meridional plasma flow variations    [PDF]

Dibyendu Nandy, Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo, Petrus C. H. Martens
Direct observations over the past four centuries show that the number of sunspots observed on the Sun's surface vary periodically, going through successive maxima and minima. Following sunspot cycle 23, the Sun went into a prolonged minimum characterized by a very weak polar magnetic field and an unusually large number of days without sunspots. Sunspots are strongly magnetized regions and are generated by a dynamo mechanism which recreates the solar polar field mediated via plasma flows. Here we report results from kinematic dynamo simulations which demonstrate that a fast meridional flow in the early half of a cycle, followed by a slower flow in the latter half, reproduces both the characteristics of the minimum of sunspot cycle 23 - a large number of spotless days and a relatively weak polar field. Our model predicts that, in general, very deep minima are associated with weak polar fields. Sunspots govern the solar radiative energy and radio flux, and in conjunction with the polar field, modulate the solar wind, heliospheric open flux and consequently cosmic ray flux at Earth; our results therefore provide a causal link between solar internal dynamics and the atypical values of these heliospheric forcing parameters during the recently concluded solar minimum.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1303.0349

No comments:

Post a Comment