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Changes in quasi-periodic variations of solar photospheric fields: precursor to the deep solar minimum in the cycle 23? View all abstracts by submitter

Susanta Kumar Bisoi   Submitted: 2013-05-06 01:41

Using both wavelet and Fourier analysis, a study has been undertaken of the changes in the quasi-periodic variations in solar photospheric fields in the build-up to one of the deepest solar minima experienced in the past 100 years. This unusual and deep solar minimum occurred between solar cycles 23 and 24. The study, carried out using ground based synoptic magnetograms spanning the period 1975.14 to 2009.86, covered solar cycles 21, 22 and 23. A hemispheric asymmetry in periodicities of the photospheric fields was seen only at latitudes above 45 degree when the data was divided, based on a wavelet analysis, into two parts: one prior to 1996 and the other after 1996. Furthermore, the hemispheric asymmetry was observed to be confined to the latitude range 45 degree to 60 degree. This can be attributed to the variations in polar surges that primarily depend on both the emergence of surface magnetic flux and varying solar surface flows. The observed asymmetry when coupled with the fact that both solar fields above 45 degree and micro-turbulence levels in the inner-heliosphere have been decreasing since the early to mid nineties (Janardhan et al., 2011) suggests that around this time active changes occurred in the solar dynamo that governs the underlying basic processes in the sun. These changes in turn probably initiated the build-up to the very deep solar minimum at the end of the cycle 23. The decline in fields above 45 degree for well over a solar cycle, would imply that weak polar fields have been generated in the past two successive solar cycles viz. cycles 22 and 23. A continuation of this declining trend beyond 22 years, if it occurs, will have serious implications on our current understanding of the solar dynamo.

Authors: Susanta Kumar Bisoi, P. Janardhan, D. Chakrabarty, S. Ananthakrishnan, and Ankur Divekar
Projects: National Solar Observatory (Sac Peak)

Publication Status: Solar Physics (accepted for publication)
Last Modified: 2013-05-06 11:08
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