Solar cycle evolution of dipolar and pseudostreamer belts and their relation to the slow solar wind

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Owens, Matt J. ; Crooker, N.U. ; Lockwood, Mike (2014)
  • Publisher: American Geophysical Union
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1002/2013JA019412
  • Subject:
    arxiv: Astrophysics::Earth and Planetary Astrophysics | Physics::Space Physics | Astrophysics::Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

Dipolar streamers are coronal structures formed by open solar flux converging from coronal holes of opposite polarity. Thus the dipolar streamer belt traces the coronal foot print of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS), and it is strongly associated with the origin of slow solar wind. Pseudostreamers, on the other hand, separate converging regions of open solar flux from coronal holes of the same polarity and do not contain current sheets. They have recently received a great deal of interest as a possible additional source of slow solar wind. Here we add to that growing body of work by using the potential-field source-surface model to determine the occurrence and location of dipolar and pseudostreamers over the last three solar cycles. In addition to providing new information about pseudostreamer morphology, the results help explain why the observations taken during the first Ulysses perihelion pass in 1995 showed noncoincidence between dipolar streamer belt and the locus of slowest flow. We find that Carrington rotation averages of the heliographic latitudes of dipolar and pseudostreamer belts are systematically shifted away from the equator, alternately in opposite directions, with a weak solar cycle periodicity, thus keeping slow wind from the web of combined streamer belts approximately symmetric about the equator. The largest separation of dipolar and pseudostreamer belts occurred close to the Ulysses pass, allowing a unique opportunity to see that slow wind from pseudostreamer belts north of the southward-displaced dipolar belt was responsible for the noncoincident pattern.
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