Long-term Longitudinal Recurrences of the Open Magnetic Flux Density in the Heliosphere

M. Dósa, G. Erdős

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Open magnetic flux in the heliosphere is determined from the radial component of the magnetic field vector measured onboard interplanetary space probes. Previous Ulysses research has shown remarkable independence of the flux density from heliographic latitude, explained by super-radial expansion of plasma. Here we are investigating whether any longitudinal variation exists in the 50 year long OMNI magnetic data set. The heliographic longitude of origin of the plasma package was determined by applying a correction according to the solar wind travel time. Significant recurrent enhancements of the magnetic flux density were observed throughout solar cycle 23, lasting for several years. Similar, long-lasting recurring features were observed in the solar wind velocity, temperature and the deviation angle of the solar wind velocity vector from the radial direction. Each of the recurrent features has a recurrence period slightly differing from the Carrington rotation rate, although they show a common trend in time. Examining the coronal temperature data of ACE leads to the possible explanation that these long-term structures are caused by slow-fast solar wind interaction regions. A comparison with MESSENGER data measured at 0.5 au shows that these longitudinal magnetic modulations do not exist closer to the Sun, but are the result of propagation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017



  • solar wind
  • Sun: heliosphere
  • Sun: magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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