Vol 19, No 6

Properties of filaments in solar cycle 20-23 from McIntosh Archive

Rakesh Mazumder


Abstract A filament is a cool, dense structure suspended in the solar corona. The eruption of a filament is often associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME), which has an adverse effect on space weather. Hence, research on filaments has attracted much attention in the recent past. The tilt angle of active region (AR) magnetic bipoles is a crucial parameter in the context of the solar dynamo, which governs the conversion efficiency of the toroidal magnetic field to poloidal magnetic field. Filaments always form over polarity inversion lines (PILs), so the study of tilt angles for these filaments can provide valuable information about generation of a magnetic field in the Sun. We investigate the tilt angles of filaments and other properties using McIntosh Archive data. We fit a straight line to each filament to estimate its tilt angle. We examine the variation of mean tilt angle with time. The latitude distribution of positive tilt angle filaments and negative tilt angle filaments reveals that there is a dominance of positive tilt angle filaments in the southern hemisphere and negative tilt angle filaments dominate in the northern hemisphere. We study the variation of the mean tilt angle for low and high latitudes separately. Investigations of temporal variation with filament number indicate that total filament number and low latitude filament number vary cyclically, in phase with the solar cycle. There are fewer filaments at high latitudes and they also show a cyclic pattern in temporal variation. We also study the north-south asymmetry of filaments with different latitude criteria.


Keywords Sun: filaments, prominences — Sun: magnetic fields — Sun: corona — Sun: activity — (Sun:) sunspots

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