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Reconstructing solar magnetic fields from historical observations

Virtanen, I.O.I.; Virtanen, I.I.; Pevtsov, A.A.; Yeates, A.; Mursula, K.

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I.O.I. Virtanen

I.I. Virtanen

A.A. Pevtsov

K. Mursula


Aims. We aim to use the surface flux transport model to simulate the long-term evolution of the photospheric magnetic field from historical observations. In this work we study the accuracy of the model and its sensitivity to uncertainties in its main parameters and the input data. Methods. We tested the model by running simulations with different values of meridional circulation and supergranular diffusion parameters, and studied how the flux distribution inside active regions and the initial magnetic field affected the simulation. We compared the results to assess how sensitive the simulation is to uncertainties in meridional circulation speed, supergranular diffusion, and input data. We also compared the simulated magnetic field with observations. Results. We find that there is generally good agreement between simulations and observations. Although the model is not capable of replicating fine details of the magnetic field, the long-term evolution of the polar field is very similar in simulations and observations. Simulations typically yield a smoother evolution of polar fields than observations, which often include artificial variations due to observational limitations. We also find that the simulated field is fairly insensitive to uncertainties in model parameters or the input data. Due to the decay term included in the model the effects of the uncertainties are somewhat minor or temporary, lasting typically one solar cycle.


Virtanen, I., Virtanen, I., Pevtsov, A., Yeates, A., & Mursula, K. (2017). Reconstructing solar magnetic fields from historical observations. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 604, Article A8.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 26, 2017
Publication Date Jul 26, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 18, 2017
Journal Astronomy and astrophysics.
Print ISSN 0004-6361
Electronic ISSN 1432-0746
Publisher EDP Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 604
Article Number A8


Published Journal Article (5.1 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Reproduced with permission from Astronomy & Astrophysics, © ESO 2017

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