MPI for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany
Natural Sciences (Astrophysics and Astrononmy)
The ongoing 11-year cycle of solar activity is considerably less vigorous than the three cycles before.
It was preceded by a very deep activity minimum with a low polar magnetic flux, the source of
the toroidal field responsible for solar magnetic activity in the subsequent cycle.
Simulation of the evolution of the solar surface field shows that the weak polar fields and thus
the weakness of the present cycle 24 are mainly caused by a number of bigger bipolar regions
with a ‘wrong’ (i.e., opposite to the majority for this cycle) orientation of their magnetic polarities
in the North- South direction, which impaired the growth of the polar field. These reg ions had a
particularly strong effect since they emerged within ±10° latitude from the solar equator.
Jiang et al., Astrophysical Journal, 808, L28 (2015)
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