AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 94. Quiet Sun Magnetic Fields
Display, Thursday, June 3, 1999, 9:20am-4:00pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[94.04] A Search for Toroidal Magnetic Fields in the Solar Photosphere

D. M. Rust (JHU/APL)

Observations of an East-West asymmetry in photospheric magnetic fields, as reported by Duvall et al. (Solar Phys. 61, 233, 1979), Howard (Solar Phys. 39, 275, 1974, and Solar Phys. 134, 233, 1991), and Shrauner and Scherrer (Solar Phys. 153, 131, 1994) may possibly be explained in terms of a normal component contaminated by a toroidal component. The toroidal component has already been traced in solar filaments and by its effect on chromospheric fine structure. Taking advantage of the highly stable observing conditions offered by the SOHO Michelson-Doppler Imager (MDI), we searched for evidence of toroidal fields in the photosphere. Although the MDI is sensitive only to the line-of-sight component of the fields, toroidal fields reveal themselves by East-West asymmetries in average field strength and in large-scale features, such as boundaries between positive and negative fields. We report on analysis of calibrated full-disk MDI magnetograms for a one-year period.

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