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The solar cycle from data on the large-scale surface magnetic field and solar-dynamo theory


Latitude-time (butterfly) diagrams of the large-scale solar magnetic field differ appreciably from the butterfly diagrams for sunspots. Tilted features corresponding to waves propagating from the middle latitudes to the equator are virtually absent from the diagrams for the large-scale magnetic field. The latitude-time diagram of the 22-year solar cycle based on data for the large-scale surface field appears as a checkerboard pattern rather than a traveling wave. Solutions describing similar behavior for the poloidal magnetic field are found for Parker’s solar-dynamo equations. These solutions agree with observations especially well if meridional circulation is added to the two sources generating the magnetic-field in this dynamo-differential rotation and mirror-asymmetric convection.