A Study of the Coronal Non-thermal Velocity in Polar Regions During the Rise from Solar Minimum to Solar Maximum in Cycle 24

L. Harra, D. Baker, S. J. Edwards, H. Hara, R. Howe, L. Van Driel-gesztelyi

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2 Citations (Scopus)


We explore the changes in coronal non-thermal velocity (V nt) measurements at the poles from solar minimum to solar maximum using Hinode EUV Imaging Spectrometer data. We find that although the intensity in the corona at the poles does tend to increase with the cycle, there are no significant changes in the V nt values. The locations of enhanced V nt values measured do not always have a counterpart in intensity, and they are sometimes located in weak emission regions. Unipolar magnetic streams, created through diffusion of the following polarity of the decaying active regions, slowly progress towards the poles. These streams are expected to be related to magnetic nulls as locations that indicate an increased likelihood for magnetic reconnection to occur. Through global potential field source-surface modelling, we determine how the number of nulls varied during the cycle and find that those that lie at < 1.1 solar radii vary significantly. We search for a correlation between the variation of the magnetic nulls and the V nt values, as it may be expected that with an increasing number of nulls, the V nt values in the corona increase as well. There is no correlation with the V nt values, however. This indicates that the magnetic structures that create the enhanced V nt behaviour are small-scale features and hence not easily measurable at the poles. Because they do not change during the solar cycle, they are likely to be created by a local dynamo. The variation of the upper range of V nt is reduced, which highlights that strongly dynamic behaviour is reduced as the solar maximum approaches. This is likely to be due to the reduced area of the polar coronal hole, which allows fewer opportunities for reconnection to occur between open and closed magnetic fields.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3203-3220
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • Solar cycle
  • Coronal holes


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