Magnetic Flux Transport on the Sun

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Science  18 Aug 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4919, pp. 712-718
DOI: 10.1126/science.245.4919.712


Although most of the magnetic flux observed on the sun originates in the low-latitude sunspot belts, this flux is gradually dispersed over a much wider range of latitudes by supergranular convective motions and meridional circulation. Numerical simulations show how these transport processes interact over the 11-year sunspot cycle to produce a strong "topknot" polar field, whose existence near sunspot minimum is suggested by the observed strength of the interplanetary magnetic field and by the observed areal extent of polar coronal holes. The required rates of diffusion and flow are consistent with the decay rates of active regions and with the rotational properties of the large-scale solar magnetic field.

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