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Advances in Astronomy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 923578, 28 pages
Research Article

Solar Field Mapping and Dynamo Behavior

Solar Physics, a.i. solutions, Inc., Suite 215, 10001 Derekwood Lane, Lanham, MD 20706, USA

Received 9 May 2012; Accepted 13 September 2012

Academic Editor: Elmetwally Elabbasy

Copyright © 2012 Kenneth H. Schatten. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We discuss the importance of the Sun’s large-scale magnetic field to the Sun-Planetary environment. This paper narrows its focus down to the motion and evolution of the photospheric large-scale magnetic field which affects many environments throughout this region. For this purpose we utilize a newly developed Netlogo cellular automata model. The domain of this algorithmic model is the Sun’s photosphere. Within this computational space are placed two types of entities or agents; one may refer to them as bluebirds and cardinals; the former carries outward magnetic flux and the latter carries out inward magnetic flux. One may simply call them blue and red agents. The agents provide a granularity with discrete changes not present in smooth MHD models; they undergo three processes: birth, motion, and death within the photospheric domain. We discuss these processes, as well as how we are able to develop a model that restricts its domain to the photosphere and allows the deeper layers to be considered only through boundary conditions. We show the model’s ability to mimic a number of photospheric magnetic phenomena: the solar cycle (11-year) oscillations, the Waldmeier effect, unipolar magnetic regions (e.g. sectors and coronal holes), Maunder minima, and the march/rush to the poles involving the geometry of magnetic field reversals. We also discuss why the Sun sometimes appears as a magnetic monopole, which of course requires no alteration of Maxwell’s equations.