Solar Physics Division Meeting 2000, June 19-22
Session 9. Living with a Star 3: Space Weather Aspects
Oral, Chair: D. H. Hathaway, Tuesday, June 20, 2000, 1:30-3:00, 3:30-4:00pm, Forum

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[9.04] Modeling of the Magnetic Structure of the Heliosphere using MHD Simulations

Pete Riley, Z. Mikic, J. A. Linker (Science Applications International Corp.)

We present the results of three-dimensional, time-dependent, MHD simulations of the solar corona and heliosphere emphasizing the global structure of the interplanetary magnetic field. Such simulations provide a contextual basis with which to interpret a variety of disparate solar and interplanetary observations. We divide the modeling into two regions: The solar corona (1 -- 30 solar radii) and the heliosphere (30 solar radii -- 5 AU). The solar coronal component of the model is driven by measurements of the line-of-sight magnetic field in the photosphere, such as those produced by the National Solar Observatory at Kitt Peak. Inputs to the heliospheric component of the model are derived from the output of the solar coronal model. Thus we are able to derive solar wind plasma and magnetic field parameters at 1 AU and beyond, based soley on the observed photospheric magnetic field. We test the model for a variety of input conditions over the previous solar cycle by comparing spacecraft trajectories flown through the simulation with in situ observations made by WIND, ACE, and Ulysses. In particular, we compare the sector structure and magnetic field variations observed by the spacecraft with the simulation results. We also compare the morphology of the heliospheric current sheet predicted by these simulations with a ballistic extrapolation of the neutral line. These comparisons suggest that the simulations can reproduce the essential large-scale plasma and magnetic field features of the interplanetary medium under a variety of solar conditions.

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