A Snapshot of the Sun Near Solar Minimum: The Whole Heliosphere Interval

Barbara J. Thompson, Sarah E. Gibson, Peter C. Schroeder, David F. Webb, Charles N. Arge, Mario M. Bisi, Giuliana Toma, Barbara A. Emery, Antoinette B. Galvin, Deborah A. Haber, Bernard V. Jackson, Elizabeth A. Jensen, Robert J. Leamon, Jiuhou Lei, Periasamy K. Manoharan, M. Leila Mays, Patrick S. Mcintosh, Gordon J. D. Petrie, Simon P. Plunkett, Liying QianPeter Riley, Steven T. Suess, Munetoshi Tokumaru, Brian T. Welsch, Thomas N. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


We present an overview of the data and models collected for the Whole Heliosphere Interval, an international campaign to study the three-dimensional solar–heliospheric–planetary connected system near solar minimum. The data and models correspond to solar Carrington Rotation 2068 (20 March – 16 April 2008) extending from below the solar photosphere, through interplanetary space, and down to Earth’s mesosphere. Nearly 200 people participated in aspects of WHI studies, analyzing and interpreting data from nearly 100 instruments and models in order to elucidate the physics of fundamental heliophysical processes. The solar and inner heliospheric data showed structure consistent with the declining phase of the solar cycle. A closely spaced cluster of low-latitude active regions was responsible for an increased level of magnetic activity, while a highly warped current sheet dominated heliospheric structure. The geospace data revealed an unusually high level of activity, driven primarily by the periodic impingement of high-speed streams. The WHI studies traced the solar activity and structure into the heliosphere and geospace, and provided new insight into the nature of the interconnected heliophysical system near solar minimum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-56
Number of pages28
JournalSolar Physics
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2011


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