Heliospheric physics

The heliospheric magnetic field

We are interested in the solar cycle evolution of the heliospheric magnetic field. In particular, the processes by which the component of the solar magnetic flux which is "open" to the heliosphere is generated and destroyed. Recently, we have investigated the role of coronal mass ejections in the creation of new open solar flux, as well as identifying where open flux is subsequently destroyed and the physical parameters which control the rate at which this occurs. The mechanisms are intrinsically linked to the source of the slow solar wind.

Long-term reconstructions of solar activity and the solar wind

We use geomagnetic activity and sunspot records to reconstruct the total open solar flux, the near-Earth magnetic field strength and the solar wind over the last few centuries. This enables the investigation of long-term trends in the solar magnetic field, which is of interest to both terrestrial climate modelling and stellar dynamo theory.

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