Extrapolating Solar Dynamo Models Throughout the Heliosphere

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Bradley Taylor Cox1,2, Mark S Miesch3, Kyle Augustson2,4 and Nicholas Andrew Featherstone4, (1)Bridgewater College, Physics, Bridgewater, VA, United States, (2)High Altitude Observatory, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)NCAR, Boulder, CO, United States, (4)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States
There are multiple theories that aim to explain the behavior of the solar dynamo, and their associated models have been fiercely contested. The two prevailing theories investigated in this project are the Convective Dynamo model that arises from the pure solving of the magnetohydrodynamic equations, as well as the Babcock-Leighton model that relies on sunspot dissipation and reconnection. Recently, the supercomputer simulations CASH and BASH have formed models of the behavior of the Convective and Babcock-Leighton models, respectively, in the convective zone of the sun. These models show the behavior of the models within the sun, while much less is known about the effects these models may have further away from the solar surface. The goal of this work is to investigate any fundamental differences between the Convective and Babcock-Leighton models of the solar dynamo outside of the sun and extending into the solar system via the use of potential field source surface extrapolations implemented via python code that operates on data from CASH and BASH. The use of real solar data to visualize supergranular flow data in the BASH model is also used to learn more about the behavior of the Babcock-Leighton Dynamo. From the process of these extrapolations it has been determined that the Babcock-Leighton model, as represented by BASH, maintains complex magnetic fields much further into the heliosphere before reverting into a basic dipole field, providing 3D visualisations of the models distant from the sun.