The accuracy of using the Ulysses result of the spatial invariance of the radial heliospheric field to compute the open solar flux
Lockwood, M. and Owens, M. J. (2009) The accuracy of using the Ulysses result of the spatial invariance of the radial heliospheric field to compute the open solar flux. The Astrophysical Journal, 701 (2). pp. 964-973. ISSN 0004-637X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/701/2/964
We survey observations of the radial magnetic field in the heliosphere as a function of position, sunspot number, and sunspot cycle phase. We show that most of the differences between pairs of simultaneous observations, normalized using the square of the heliocentric distance and averaged over solar rotations, are consistent with the kinematic "flux excess" effect whereby the radial component of the frozen-in heliospheric field is increased by longitudinal solar wind speed structure. In particular, the survey shows that, as expected, the flux excess effect at high latitudes is almost completely absent during sunspot minimum but is almost the same as within the streamer belt at sunspot maximum. We study the uncertainty inherent in the use of the Ulysses result that the radial field is independent of heliographic latitude in the computation of the total open solar flux: we show that after the kinematic correction for the excess flux effect has been made it causes errors that are smaller than 4.5%, with a most likely value of 2.5%. The importance of this result for understanding temporal evolution of the open solar flux is reviewed.