- Conference date: 17–22 June 2012
- Location: Big Island, Hawaii
This recent solar minimum and the rise of solar cycle 24 in 2007-2011 have presented conditions on the solar surface that have made the existence of multiple streamers and low-to-mid latitude coronal holes a rule rather than the exception for this relatively low solar activity period. The result has been many contributions to the solar wind from a corona that appears more like the solar maximum corona from a magnetic field geometry standpoint, but at the same time generally lacks the increased heating associated with the emergence and evolution of the strong field active regions. We use the PFSS coronal field model to infer the distinctive characteristics of the recent weak solar minimum and early rising activity phase sources compared to previous stronger cycles at comparable phases. We then use the model to illustrate that these sources occur where the coronal holes are continually evolving with the surface flux via differential rotation and other convective and diffusive actions near the solar surface. The results suggest that not only does most of the ecliptic wind come from the lower latitude coronal holes and an irregular polar hole boundary, but that these regions are also routinely reconfiguring to keep up with the evolving surface field conditions-implying transients should make regular contributions to the ecliptic wind in this period . A picture of the location and evolution of the ecliptic mappings to this transient layer from 2007 to 2011 is constructed and potential observational consequences for future investigation are suggested.
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