Vol. 10 (2013) > lrsp-2013-5

doi: 10.12942/lrsp-2013-5
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 10 (2013), 5

The Heliospheric Magnetic Field

1 Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, Reading RG6 6BB, UK
2 The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK

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Article Abstract

The heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) is the extension of the coronal magnetic field carried out into the solar system by the solar wind. It is the means by which the Sun interacts with planetary magnetospheres and channels charged particles propagating through the heliosphere. As the HMF remains rooted at the solar photosphere as the Sun rotates, the large-scale HMF traces out an Archimedean spiral. This pattern is distorted by the interaction of fast and slow solar wind streams, as well as the interplanetary manifestations of transient solar eruptions called coronal mass ejections. On the smaller scale, the HMF exhibits an array of waves, discontinuities, and turbulence, which give hints to the solar wind formation process. This review aims to summarise observations and theory of the small- and large-scale structure of the HMF. Solar-cycle and cycle-to-cycle evolution of the HMF is discussed in terms of recent spacecraft observations and pre-spaceage proxies for the HMF in geomagnetic and galactic cosmic ray records.

Keywords: Magnetic fields, Heliosphere, Solar wind

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Since a Living Reviews in Solar Physics article may evolve over time, please cite the access <date>, which uniquely identifies the version of the article you are referring to:

Mathew J. Owens and Robert J. Forsyth,
"The Heliospheric Magnetic Field",
Living Rev. Solar Phys. 10,  (2013),  5. URL (cited on <date>):

Article History

ORIGINAL http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2013-5
Title The Heliospheric Magnetic Field
Author Mathew J. Owens / Robert J. Forsyth
Date accepted 10 November 2013, published 28 November 2013
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