The three-dimensional coronal magnetic field during Whole Sun Month

S. E. Gibson, D. Biesecker, D. Guhathakurta, J. T. Hoeksema, A. J. Lazarus, J. Linket, Z. Mikic, Y. Pisanko, P. Riley, J. Steinberg, L. Strachan, A. Szabo, B. J. Thompson, X. P. Zhao

University of Cambridge, Department of Applied Math & Theoretical Physics, Cambridge, England


Combining models and observations, we study the three-dimensional coronal magnetic held during a period of extensive coordinated solar observations and analysis known as the Whole Sun Month (WSM) campaign (1996 August 10-September 8). The two main goals of the WSM campaign are addressed in this paper, namely, (1) to use the held configuration to link coronal features observed by coronagraphs and imaging telescopes to solar wind speed variations observed in situ and (2) to study the role of the three-dimensional coronal magnetic held in coronal force balance. Specifically, we consider how the magnetic field connects the two fastest wind streams to the two regions that have been the main foci of the WSM analysis: the equatorial extension of the north coronal hole (known as the Elephant's Trunk) and the axisymmetric streamer belt region on the opposite side of the Sun. We then quantitatively compare the different model predictions of coronal plasma and solar wind properties with observations and consider the implications for coronal force balance and solar wind acceleration.


Astrophysical Journal, 520: (2), 871-879, 1999