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Journal Articles Advances in Space Research Year : 2016

On HMI solar oblateness during solar cycle 24 and impact of the space environment on results

Mustapha Meftah
Alain Hauchecorne
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Abdanour Irbah

Abstract

Solar oblateness is a fundamental parameter of the Sun, which provides indirect information on the inner rotation profile and on the distribution of matter. It also puts constraints on General Relativity. But this quantity is difficult to measure due to its very small value where the solar equator-to-pole radius difference is less than 10 milli-arcsecond (mas). Indeed, the measurements can be affected by magnetic activity and by instrumental effects linked to the space environment. The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) instrument onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has produced accurate determinations of the solar oblateness from 2010 to 2015. The HMI measurements of the solar shape are obtained during special roll maneuvers of the spacecraft by 11.25 degrees steps around the spacecraft to the Sun line. HMI roll maneuver has been repeated ten times after the commissioning phase from October 2010 to July 2015. From HMI data, we observed a slight anti-correlation between solar oblateness and solar activity. From a new correction method, we found a mean solar equator-to-pole radius difference of 8.36 ± 0.49 mas (i.e. 6.06 ± 0.35 km at one σ ) at 617.3 nm during the period 2010-2015.
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Dates and versions

insu-01328471 , version 1 (08-06-2016)

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Mustapha Meftah, Alain Hauchecorne, R. I. Bush, Abdanour Irbah. On HMI solar oblateness during solar cycle 24 and impact of the space environment on results. Advances in Space Research, 2016, 58 (7), pp.1425-1440. ⟨10.1016/j.asr.2016.06.003⟩. ⟨insu-01328471⟩
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