Back to Volume
Paper: The Solar Interior-Atmospheric System
Volume: 383, Subsurface and Atmospheric Influences on Solar Activity
Page: 315
Authors: Athay, R.G.; Low, B.C.; White, O.R.
Abstract: This article discusses an unpublished paradigm by Athay that relates the general properties of the solar photosphere, chromosphere, and corona to the stream of photons, kinetic energy, and magnetic fields flowing from the solar interior. Using the Athay paradigm, we discuss the physics of the solar atmosphere and its coupling to the solar dynamo to clarify the connection of observed structures and variations in the three layers to their hydromagnetic interpretation. The details of the eleven-year cycles of solar activity are quite different, but each cycle exhibits two invariant features. First, the chromosphere and corona are always present above the photosphere in its turbulent state maintained by the radiative flux escaping at the surface as the solar luminosity. Second, the solar magnetic field is globally reversed early in each cycle, accompanied by systematic drifts in magnetic activity shown in the sunspot butterfly diagram of each cycle. We describe a scenario for the corresponding systematic changes in the upper solar atmosphere that recover the minimum-activity corona from one cycle to the next. We discuss in some detail the mechanisms that heat the atmosphere and process the magnetic flux continually emerging from the interior, providing a unified view of the interior-atmospheric system.
Back to Volume