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Magnetic twist: a source and property of space weather
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
2012 (English)In: Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, ISSN 2115-7251, E-ISSN 2115-7251, Vol. 2, A11- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim: We present evidence for finite magnetic helicity density in the heliosphere and numerical models thereof, and relate it to the magnetic field properties of the dynamo in the solar convection zone.

Methods: We use simulations and solar wind data to compute magnetic helicity either directly from the simulations or indirectly using time series of the skew-symmetric components of the magnetic correlation tensor.

Results: We find that the solar dynamo produces negative magnetic helicity at small scales and positive at large scales. However, in the heliosphere these properties are reversed and the magnetic helicity is now positive at small scales and negative at large scales. We explain this by the fact that a negative diffusive magnetic helicity flux corresponds to a positive gradient of magnetic helicity, which leads to a change of sign from negative to positive values at some radius in the northern hemisphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 2, A11- p.
Keyword [en]
MHD, turbulence, solar activity, coronal mass ejection (CME), solar wind
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89103DOI: 10.1051/swsc/2012011ISI: 000325007800011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-89103DiVA: diva2:615611
Available from: 2013-04-11 Created: 2013-04-11 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Combining Models of Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Dynamos
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Combining Models of Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Dynamos
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Observations show that Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are associated with twisted magnetic flux configurations. Conventionally, CMEs are modeled by shearing and twisting the footpoints of a certain distribution of magnetic flux at the solar surface and letting it evolve at the surface. Of course, the surface velocities and magnetic field patterns should ultimately be obtained from realistic simulations of the solar convection zone where the field is generated by dynamo action. Therefore, a unified treatment of the convection zone and the CMEs is needed. Numerical simulations of turbulent dynamos show that the amplification of magnetic fields can be catastrophically quenched at magnetic Reynolds numbers typical of the interior of the Sun. A strong flux of magnetic helicity leaving the dynamo domain can alleviate this quenching. In this sense, a realistic (magnetic) boundary condition is an important ingredient of a successful solar dynamo model. Using a two-layer model developed in this thesis, we combine a dynamo-active region with a magnetically inert but highly conducting upper layer which models the solar corona. In four steps we improve this setup from a forced to a convectively driven dynamo and from an isothermal to a polytropic stratified corona. The simulations show magnetic fields that emerge at the surface of the dynamo region and are ejected into the coronal part of the domain. Their morphological form allows us to associate these events with CMEs. Magnetic helicity is found to change sign in the corona to become consistent with recent helicity measurements in the solar wind. Our convection-driven dynamo model with a coronal envelope has a solar-like differential rotation with radial (spoke-like) contours of constant rotation rate, together with a solar-like meridional circulation and a near-surface shear layer. The spoke-like rotation profile is due to latitudinal entropy gradient which violates the Taylor--Proudman balance through the baroclinic term. We find mean magnetic fields that migrate equatorward in models both with and without the coronal layer. One remarkable result is that the dynamo action benefits substantially from the presence of a corona becoming stronger and more realistic. The two-layer model represents a new approach to describe the generation of coronal mass ejections in a self-consistent manner. On the other hand, it has important implications for solar dynamo models as it admits many magnetic features observed in the Sun.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 2013. 119 p.
Keyword
Magnetohydrodynamics, convection, turbulence, solar dynamo, solar rotation, solar activity, coronal mass ejections
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88896 (URN)978-91-7447-675-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-31, sal FB52, Albanova University Center, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Manuscript; Paper 6: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-05-08 Created: 2013-04-04 Last updated: 2013-04-29Bibliographically approved

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