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Latitude and depth variation of solar rotation

Naturevolume 321pages500501 (1986) | Download Citation



Measurements of the frequencies of various modes of trapped acoustic waves provide information about rotation and structure within the Sun. Previous work dealt with observations of wave modes confined near the solar equator, which provided some information about the depth variation of rotation without resolving a possible latitude variation1,2. Recent work extended measurements to modes covering various latitude ranges from which the variation with latitude of solar rotation can be studied3–5. Since these measurements were restricted to modes with spherical harmonic degrees less than 50, they provide averages of rotation over great depth ranges that do not resolve the convective envelope. We now present new results for degrees up to 98 which allow the convective envelope to be isolated. For degrees between 20 and 98 we find no evidence that internal rotation differs significantly with depth or latitude from the rotation of surface magnetic field patterns. Modes covering a wide latitude range have systematically lower frequencies than those confined near the equator, indicating the existence of a structural asymmetry within the Sun.

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  1. Laboratory for Astronomy & Solar Physics, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, 20771, USA

    • T. L. Duvall Jr
  2. National Solar Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, Tucson, Arizona, 85726, USA

    • J. W. Harvey
  3. Bartol Research Foundation, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, 19711, USA

    • M. A. Pomerantz


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