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Formation of Coronal Holes on the Ashes of Active Regions View all abstracts by submitter

Nina Karachik   Submitted: 2011-04-20 15:14

We investigate the formation of isolated non-polar coronal holes (CHs) on the remnants of decaying active regions (ARs) at the minimum/early ascending phase of sunspot activity. We follow the evolution of four bipolar ARs and measure several parameters of their magnetic fields including total flux, imbalance, and compactness. As regions decay, their leading and following polarities exhibit different dissipation rates: loose polarity tends to dissipate faster than compact polarity. As a consequence, we see a gradual increase in flux imbalance inside a dissipating bipolar region, and later a formation of a CH in place of more compact magnetic flux. Out of four cases studied in detail, two CHs had formed at the following polarity of the decaying bipolar AR, and two CHs had developed in place of the leading polarity field. All four CHs contain a significant fraction of magnetic field of their corresponding AR. Using potential field extrapolation, we show that the magnetic field lines of these CHs were closed on the polar CH at the North, which at the time of the events was in imbalance with the polar CH at the South. This topology suggests that the observed phenomenon may play an important role in transformation of toroidal magnetic field to poloidal field, which is a key step in transitioning from an old solar cycle to a new one. The timing of this observed transition may indicate the end of solar cycle 23 and the beginning of cycle 24.


Authors: Nina Karachik, Alexei A. Pevtsov, and Valentyna I. Abramenko
Projects: SoHO-EIT

Publication Status: Published in the Astrophysical Journal
Last Modified: 2011-04-21 01:35
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