The recent solar minimum how unprecedent is the sun s behavior
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University of Bern, 17th November 2010. The recent solar minimum How unprecedent is the Sun's behavior?. Andrea Opitz CESR (CNRS-UPS) University of Toulouse, France. Solar - terrestrial relations. Solar activity cycles. SOHO (NASA/ESA). Solar activity cycles.

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The recent solar minimum How unprecedent is the Sun's behavior?

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University of Bern, 17th November 2010

The recent solar minimumHow unprecedent is the Sun's behavior?

Andrea Opitz

CESR (CNRS-UPS)

University of Toulouse, France


Solar - terrestrial relations


Solar activity cycles

SOHO (NASA/ESA)


Solar activity cycles

 Few hundred years of sunspot record available

David Hathaway, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

 Space Age (1960's - today): just a few solar cycles, low statistics


SOHO/EIT (ESA/NASA)


Out-of-ecliptic view


SW velocity vs. latitude

Solar minimum

Solar maximum

Now

McComas et al. GRL 2008


In-ecliptic view


Twin STEREO spacecraft

Opitz, Karrer, Wurz et al. 2009 Solar Physics


STEREO PLASTIC

 SW bulk velocity

 SW temperature

 SW density

Group:

P. Bochsler, P. Wurz, R. Karrer, A. Opitz, L. Blush, H. Daoudi, J. Fischer, M. Sigrist et al. (UoBe)

A. B. Galvin, L. Kistler et al. (UNH)


Temporal evolution of the solar wind

Opitz et al. 2009, Solar Physics

PLASTIC proton velocity 

0.5 day: ~0.95

2 days: ~0.85

STA STB

Opitz et al. 2010, Solar Physics

SWEA electron density 

0.5 day: ~0.80

2 days: ~0.65

STA STB

SWEA


Temporal evolution by cross-correlation

STA STB

timelag of ~6 days

Riley, Luhmann, Opitz, Linker, and Mikic 2010 JGR


Recent Sun and solar wind observations: Facts

  • longer solar activity minimum

  • solar magnetic field weaker

  • coronal holes at low latitudes

  • recurrent stream structure broader

  • low solar wind densities

  • total solar irradiance lower


Solar activity minimum: longer

Russell, Luhmann, Jian et al. 2010


Solar polar magnetic field: weaker

red: South

blue: North

Wilcox Solar Observatory


SW velocity vs. latitude

Solar minimum

Solar maximum

Now

McComas et al. GRL 2008


Recurrent stream structure:stronger and broader

Gibson et al. 2009


Terrestrial response 1

  • Quiet solar minimum, though geoeffective.

  • Interaction of the strong, broad stream structures with the terrestrial magnetosphere.

  • Proof: sunspot number alone can not give a good prediction.


Solar irradiance

 TSI lower

 UV lower

 visible higher

Haigh 2007


Solar irradiance: EUV

Solomon et al. 2010


Terrestrial response 2

  • Opportunity to separate the climatic effects of solar and anthropogenic sources.

    • Total solar irradiance lower.

    • Spectral solar irradiance: UV lower, visible higher.

  • Maunder and Dalton minimums


Russell, Luhmann, Jian 2010


Solar maximum predictions

  • weaker

  • normal

  • stronger


Solar eruption risks

  • telegraph system collapsed in 1859

  • electric network collapsed in 1989

  • electric, oil and gas network

  • satellites: GPS, communication and scientific

  • pilots and astronauts

  • radio communication


Summary

  • longer solar activity minimum

  • solar magnetic field weaker

  • coronal holes at low latitudes

  • recurrent stream structure broader

  • low solar wind densities

  • total solar irradiance lower


Questions to the audience

  • How much does such an unprecedent solar behavior influence your work?

    • Climatology?

    • Planetology?

    • Cosmic rays?

    • Space instrumentation?

    • Solar and Stellar Physics?

Dr. Andrea OPITZ, CESR (CNRS-UPS), University of Toulouse, France


Acknowledgements

  • Cecile Bonneau: 'Science et vie' -> Nov/Dec 2010

  • Janet Luhmann: solar wind structures

  • STEREO PLASTIC: P. Bochsler, P. Wurz, R. Karrer, A. Opitz, L. Blush et al. (UoBe) + UNH


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