The Heliospheric Magnetic Field over the Hale Cycle
30 May 2008
Boston University, Center for Space Physics, Center for Integrated Spaceweather Modeling, 725 Commonwealth Ave, Boston MA, 02215, USA
Abstract. The concept that open magnetic flux of the Sun (rooted with one and only one footpoint at the Sun) is a conserved quantity is taking root in the heliospheric community. Observations show that the Sun's open magnetic flux returns to the baseline from one solar minimum to the next. The temporary enhancement in the 1 AU heliospheric magnetic flux near solar maximum can be accounted for by the temporary creation of closed magnetic flux (with two footpoints at the Sun) during the ejection of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are more frequent near solar maximum. As a part of the International Heliophysical Year activities, this paper reviews two recently discussed consequences of open flux conservation: the reversal of open magnetic flux over the solar cycle driven by Coronal Mass Ejections and the impacts of open flux conservation on the global structure of the heliospheric magnetic field. These studies demonstrate the inherent linkages between coronal mass ejections, footpoint motions back at the Sun, and the global structure and evolution of the heliospheric magnetic field.