ChJAA Vol 6, No 1 (2006) (1-124) / Zhang

Magnetic Helicity Injection in Solar Active Regions

Hong-Qi Zhang


We present the evolution of magnetic field and its relationship with magnetic (current) helicity in solar active regions from a series of photospheric vector magnetograms obtained by Huairou Solar Observing Station, longitudinal magnetograms by MDI of SOHO and white light images of TRACE. The photospheric current helicity density is a quantity reflecting the local twisted magnetic field and is related to the remaining magnetic helicity in the photosphere, even if the mean current helicity density brings the general chiral property in a layer of solar active regions. As new magnetic flux emerges in active regions, changes of photospheric current helicity density with the injection of magnetic helicity into the corona from the subatmosphere can be detected, including changes in sign caused by the injection of magnetic helicity of opposite sign. Because the injection rate of magnetic helicity and photospheric current helicity density have different means in the solar atmosphere, the injected magnetic helicity is probably not proportional to the current helicity density remaining in the photosphere. The evidence is that rotation of sunspots does not synchronize exactly with the twist of photospheric transverse magnetic field in some active regions (such as, delta active regions). They represent different aspects of magnetic chirality. A combined analysis of the observational magnetic helicity parameters actually provides a relative complete picture of magnetic helicity and its transfer in the solar atmosphere.

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