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Title: DETECTION OF EQUATORWARD MERIDIONAL FLOW AND EVIDENCE OF DOUBLE-CELL MERIDIONAL CIRCULATION INSIDE THE SUN

Meridional flow in the solar interior plays an important role in redistributing angular momentum and transporting magnetic flux inside the Sun. Although it has long been recognized that the meridional flow is predominantly poleward at the Sun's surface and in its shallow interior, the location of the equatorward return flow and the meridional flow profile in the deeper interior remain unclear. Using the first 2 yr of continuous helioseismology observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory/Helioseismic Magnetic Imager, we analyze travel times of acoustic waves that propagate through different depths of the solar interior carrying information about the solar interior dynamics. After removing a systematic center-to-limb effect in the helioseismic measurements and performing inversions for flow speed, we find that the poleward meridional flow of a speed of 15 m s{sup -1} extends in depth from the photosphere to about 0.91 R{sub Sun }. An equatorward flow of a speed of 10 m s{sup -1} is found between 0.82 and 0.91 R{sub Sun} in the middle of the convection zone. Our analysis also shows evidence of that the meridional flow turns poleward again below 0.82 R{sub Sun }, indicating an existence of a second meridional circulation cell below the shallower one.more » This double-cell meridional circulation profile with an equatorward flow shallower than previously thought suggests a rethinking of how magnetic field is generated and redistributed inside the Sun.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-4085 (United States)
  2. Solar Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22136513
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 774; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ANGULAR MOMENTUM; CONVECTION; DETECTION; EQUATOR; FLOW RATE; IMAGES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC FLUX; PHOTOSPHERE; SOUND WAVES; SUN