Where are the solar magnetic poles?
In mid nineteens, it was discovered that the Sun had a dipolar global magnetic field, whose temporal evolution followed the Solar Cycle. Polar regions, as well as sunspots that appear in the activity belts, changed their polarity every 11 years: sunspots during each activity minima, and the poles in activity maxima. This fact, made people think that the poles reversal was related to the arrival of opposite polarity magnetic flux dragged from active regions by a meridional flow. Such new flux reduced the dominant polarity at the poles by cancellation, and built the opposite one until next minimum of activity. In our study, we have used the high quality full disc magnetograms, recorded by the HMI instrument onboard the SDO satellite since the beginning of the mission, in april 2010. We perform a deep study of the evolution with time of the line of sight component of the magnetic field at the solar poles. In our data, we see many aspects of the solar cycle as the decay of the dominant polarity of both poles while we approach to the activity maximum. But the main result is the detection of a monthly oscillatory pattern of the pole's magnetic field. Such oscillation, related to solar rotation is a clear evidence of a non-axisymmetric component of the magnetic field. One of the possible explanations is that the global field is tilted with respect to the rotation axis. This rather usual finding in other stars, here represents a breach of modern solar dynamo theories for the generation and maintenance of the Sun's magnetic field.
About the talk
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias