Evolution of sunspot activity and inversion of the Sun's polar magnetic field in the current cycle
Keywords: Solar activity, Sun spots, Solar cycles, Electric and magnetic fields, Solar magnetismAbout the paper
A spatiotemporal analysis of the Sun’s magnetic field was carried out to study the polar-field inversion in the current cycle in relation to sunspot activity. The causal relationship between these phenomena was demonstrated in a time-latitude aspect. After decay of long-lived activity complexes their magnetic fields were redistributed into the surrounding photosphere and formed unipolar magnetic regions which were transported to high latitudes. Zones of intense sunspot activity during 2011/2012 produced unipolar magnetic regions of the following polarities, whose poleward drift led to the inversion of the Sun’s polar fields at the North and South Poles. At the North Pole the polar field reversal was completed by May 2013. It was demonstrated that mixed magnetic polarities near the North Pole resulted from violations of Joy’s law at lower latitudes. Later sunspot activity in the southern hemisphere has led to a delay in magnetic polarity reversal at the South Pole. Thus, the north–south asymmetry of sunspot activity resulted in asynchronous polar field reversal in the current cycle.