A brief report on the statistical study of net electric current in solar active regions with longitudinal fields of opposite polarity

Yu Gao


Dynamic processes occurring in solar active regions are dominated by the solar magnetic field. As of now, observations using a solar magnetograph have supplied us with the vector components of a solar photospheric magnetic field. The two transverse components of a photospheric magnetic field allow us to compute the amount of electric current. We found that the electric current in areas with positive (negative) polarity due to the longitudinal magnetic field have both positive and negative signs in an active region, however, the net current is found to be an order-of-magnitude less than the mean absolute magnitude and has a preferred sign. In particular, we have statistically found that there is a systematic net electric current from areas with negative (positive) polarity to areas with positive (negative) polarity in solar active regions in the northern (southern) hemisphere, but during the solar minimum this tendency is reversed over time at some latitudes. The result indicates that there is weak net electric current in areas of solar active regions with opposite polarity, thus providing further details about the hemispheric helicity rule found in a series of previous studies.


Sun: activity — Sun: photosphere — Sun: magnetic fields

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