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Open Magnetic Flux Evolution

Presentation #202.04 in the session Coronal Magnetic Fields and Solar Wind Formation.

Published onSep 18, 2023
Open Magnetic Flux Evolution

The coronal magnetic field expands outward to fill the heliosphere. The primary source of heliospheric magnetic flux appears to be coronal holes, from which the fast solar wind emerges. Less clear is the contribution of the streamer belt and coronal hole boundaries, which are associated with the more variable slow wind. A key question about the origin of the slow solar wind and associated magnetic flux is the role of topological change of the magnetic field, e.g. interchange reconnection. This question cannot be directly investigated with stationary potential field source surface (PFSS) or magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models, but instead requires modeling coronal evolution. In this presentation, we describe evolutionary MHD simulations of the corona and solar wind, driven by time-dependent boundary conditions. We use the Lockheed Surface Flux Transport (SFT) model to evolve the surface magnetic fields, which in turn drive the coronal evolution. To avoid issues with the limited Sun-Earth viewpoint of presently available magnetographs, we use a “simulated Sun” version of the Lockheed SFT that emerges new flux over the entire Sun with solar-like properties. The MHD simulations are performed with the MAS thermodynamic Wave-Turbulence Driven (WTD) model for a month of simulated time. We investigate the evolution of open magnetic flux in the model and relate it to the simulated solar wind properties. Research supported by NASA and NSF.

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