CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2004
 7 October 2004

7 October 2004

Speaker: Len Fisk (University of Michigan)

Title: Behavior of the Open Magnetic Flux of the Sun

Abstract: The magnetic field of the Sun includes a component that opens into the heliosphere to form the heliospheric magnetic field --- the so-called open magnetic flux of the Sun. The open flux controls many of the important processes in the solar corona, e.g., the escape of the solar wind and energetic particles; the conditions through which Coronal Mass Ejections propagate and accelerate energetic particles. The open flux also exhibits the reversal in polarity of the magnetic field of the Sun. The magnetic field in the polar coronal holes at solar minimum, which is primarily open flux, reverses polarity every 11 years. Understanding how the open flux of the Sun behaves, how it is transported and distributed, is thus important for understanding basic solar physics and the coupling of the Sun and the heliosphere. Our current understanding of the behavior of open flux, and the mechanisms that control it, from observations, will be reviewed. Models currently under development that describe the behavior of the open flux, and how its behavior can couple into the acceleration of the solar wind will also be presented.

Video of the Presentation (Talks can be viewed with RealPlayer. Free download is available from )

References for students:

  1. Fisk and Schwadron, ApJ, 560, 425, 2001
  2. Fisk, JGR, 108, 1157 [SSH7-1], 2003


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