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Active regions and the interplanetary magnetic field

  • John M. Wilcox (a1), Norman F. Ness (a2) and Kenneth H. Schatten (a1)

Abstract

The relation of solar active regions to the large-scale sector structure of the interplanetary field is discussed. In the winter of 1963–64 (observed by the satellite IMP-1) the plage density was greatest in the leading portion of the sectors and lesser in the trailing portion of the sectors. The boundaries of the sectors (places at which the direction of the interplanetary magnetic field changed from toward the Sun to away from the Sun, or vice versa) were remarkably free of plages. The very fact that since the first observations in 1962 the average interplanetary field has almost always had the property of being either toward the Sun or away from the Sun (along the Archimedean spiral angle) continuously for several days must be considered in the discussion of large-scale evolution of active regions. Using the observed interplanetary magnetic field at 1 AU and a set of reasonable assumptions the magnetic configuration in the ecliptic from 0·4 AU to 1·2 AU has been reconstructed. In at least one case a pattern emerges which appears to be related to the evolution of an active region from an early stage in which the magnetic lines closely couple the preceding and following halves of the region to a later stage in which the two halves of the region are more widely separated.

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Copyright

References

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Ness, N. F., Wilcox, J. M. (1966) Extension of the Photospheric Magnetic Field into Interplanetary Space, Astrophys. J., 143, 23.
Wilcox, J. M., Ness, N. F. (1967) Solar Source of the Interplanetary Sector Structure, Solar Phys., 1, 437.

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