University of Oulu

Hamada, A., Asikainen, T. & Mursula, K. A Uniform Series of Low-Latitude Coronal Holes in 1973–2018. Sol Phys 296, 40 (2021).

A uniform series of low-latitude coronal holes in 1973–2018

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Author: Hamada, A.1; Asikainen, T.1; Mursula, K.1
Organizations: 1Space Climate Research Group, Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-15


Coronal holes (CHs) are regions in the solar corona characterized by plasma density lower than in the surrounding quiet Sun. Therefore they appear dark in images of the solar atmosphere made, e.g., in extreme ultraviolet (EUV). Identifying CHs on solar images is difficult since CH boundaries are not sharp, but typically obscured by magnetic structures of surrounding active regions. Moreover, the areas, shapes, and intensities of CHs appear differently in different wavelengths. Coronal holes have been identified both visually by experienced observers and, more recently, by automated detection methods using different techniques. In this article, we apply a recent, robust CH identification algorithm to a new set of homogenized EUV synoptic maps based on four EUV lines measured by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory/Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SOHO/EIT) in 1996–2018 and the Solar Dynamics Observatory/Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (SDO/AIA) in 2010–2018 and create corresponding CH synoptic maps. We also use CHs of the hand-drawn McIntosh archive (McA) from 1973–2009 to extend the CH database to earlier times. We discuss the success of the four EUV lines to find CHs at high or low latitudes, and confirm that the combined EIT 195 Å/AIA 193 Å series applies best for both polar and low-latitude CH detection. While the polar CH detection suffers from the vantage-point limitation, the low-latitude CH areas extracted from this line correlate with the McA CH data very well. Using the simultaneous measurements between EIT and McA and EIT and AIA, we scale the different data series to the same level and form the longest uniform series of low-latitude CHs in 1973–2018. We find that, while the solar cycle maxima of low-latitude CHs in the descending phase of Solar Cycles 21–23 attain roughly similar values, the corresponding maximum during Solar Cycle 24 is reduced by a factor of two. This suggests that magnetic flux emergence is crucial for the formation of low-latitude CHs.

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Series: Solar physics
ISSN: 0038-0938
ISSN-E: 1573-093X
ISSN-L: 0038-0938
Volume: 296
Issue: 2
Article number: 40
DOI: 10.1007/s11207-021-01781-w
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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