Letter | Published:

Solar atmospheric temperature inhomogeneities induce a 13-day oscillation in full-disk Doppler measurements

Naturevolume 302pages810812 (1983) | Download Citation



Claverie et al.1 have reported a 13-day oscillation in full-disk solar spectrum-line shifts, which they claim to be evidence for rapid rotation of the Sun's core. We point out here that the passage of active regions across the disk could be responsible for oscillations of this kind. Variations in line shifts and in irradiance are expected with frequencies comparable to both the photospheric rotation rate and to higher harmonics. For line-shift oscillations the power in the second harmonic is substantially greater than it is for irradiance variations. Therefore a prominent 13-day component is not surprising, especially as we know that the second harmonic is strong in the sunspot distribution2. We estimate the amplitude, period and phase that would be expected to have been found in line-shift data, obtaining results comparable with those of Claverie et al.1. We suggest that the 13-day oscillation is a direct consequence of the inhomogeneity of the solar surface. Our analysis complements and extends a recent study by Durrant and Schröter3.

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  1. Department of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy, University College, PO Box 78, Cardiff, CF1 1XL, UK

    • M. G. Edmunds
  2. Institute of Astronomy

    • D. O. Gough
  3. Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK

    • D. O. Gough


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