- Conference date: 17–22 June 2012
- Location: Big Island, Hawaii
Interplanetary scintillation (IPS) observations made with the 327-MHz multi-station system of the Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory (STEL) of Nagoya University are used to investigate long-term evolution of the global solar wind structure. Here, we focus on the recent trend in our data (up to 2011), since peculiar aspects of the cycle 24 have been reported from earlier studies. The IPS data demonstrate that the solar wind systematically changes its global structure with the solar activity cycle, and also that there is some distinct differences in the solar wind structure between the current and past cycles. The fractional area of the fast wind on the source surface significantly increases at low latitudes in the extended minimum between cycle 23 and 24, as compared with that between cycle 22 and 23. This fact is consistent with a marked growth of equatorial coronal holes during the cycle 24. A comparison with magnetograph data of Wilcox Solar Observatory reveals that polar fields have a positive (negative) correlation with fast (slow) wind areas. We find that the solar wind structure in the cycle 24 changes with polar fields following a slightly different track from that of the past cycle. This discrepancy is ascribed to an effect of higher-order moments of the Sun’s magnetic field. Another important point revealed from our IPS observations is that solar wind density fluctuations distinctly drop after the extended minimum. This is consistent with a significant reduction in solar wind density observed by in situ measurements during the extended minimum, while our IPS data show that this reduction continues until 2011.
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