The large-scale coronal magnetic fields of the Sun are believed to play an important role in organizing the coronal plasma and channeling the high and low speed solar wind along the open magnetic field lines of the polar coronal holes and the rapidly diverging field lines close to the current sheet regions, as has been observed by the instruments aboard the Ulysses spacecraft from March 1992 to March 1997. We have performed a study of this phenomena within the framework of a semi-empirical model of the coronal expansion and solar wind using Spartan, SOHO, and Ulysses observations during the quiescent phase of the solar cycle. Key to this understanding is the demonstration that the white light coronagraph data can be used to trace out the topology of the coronal magnetic field and then using the Ulysses data to fix the strength of the surface magnetic field of the Sun. As a consequence, it is possible to utilize this semi-empirical model with remote sensing observation of the shape and density of the solar corona and in situ data of magnetic field and mass flux to predict values of the solar wind at all latitudes through out the solar system. We have applied this technique to the observations of Spartan 201-05 on 1-2 November, 1998, SOHO and Ulysses during the rising phase of this solar cycle and speculate on what solar wind velocities Ulysses will observe during its polar passes over the south and the north poles during September of 2000 and 2001. In order to do this the model has been generalized to include multiple streamer belts and co-located current sheets. The model shows some interesting new results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science