Effect of spatial resolution on estimating the Sun's magnetic flux

N. A. Krivova, S. K. Solanki
2004 Astronomy and Astrophysics  
A critical question related to a possible secular trend in the Sun's total magnetic flux and consequently in solar irradiance is the total amount of magnetic flux present on the Sun and how it is distributed between active regions and the quiet Sun. NSO/Kitt Peak synoptic charts have in the past been used to estimate the total flux and the fraction of the flux in active regions and in the quiet Sun. Since a single pixel of these synoptic charts is much bigger than individual small-scale
more » ... small-scale magnetic elements and opposite polarities may be present within the same pixel, some magnetic flux escaped notice. Here we estimate the fraction of the magnetic flux escaping detection in Kitt Peak synoptic charts. By artificially reducing the spatial resolution of MDI full-disc and high-resolution magnetograms we study the influence of the resolution on the measured total magnetic flux. Noise in the data poses the main difficulty to this approach and is carefully studied. It is concluded that at least half of the magnetic flux in the quiet Sun remains undetected in Kitt Peak synoptic charts and that the total flux present on the solar surface at maxima of activity is around twice the flux present at activity minima.
doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20040022 fatcat:j4orjwn5wbakvppc56p57qngs4