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Deciphering solar turbulence from sunspots records

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Graeme Sarson, Dr Rodion Stepanov



It is generally believed that sunspots are the emergent part of magnetic flux tubes in the solar interior. These tubes are created at the base of the convection zone and rise to the surface due to their magnetic buoyancy. The motion of plasma in the convection zone being highly turbulent, the surface manifestation of sunspots may retain the signature of this turbulence, including its intermittency. From direct observations of sunspots, and indirect observations of the concentration of cosmogenic isotopes C-14 in tree rings or Be-10 in polar ice, power spectral densities in frequency are plotted. Two different frequency scalings emerge, depending on whether the Sun is quiescent or active. From direct observations we can also calculate scaling exponents. These testify to a strong intermittency, comparable with that observed in the solar wind.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Plunian F, Sarson GR, Stepanov R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

Year: 2009

Volume: 400

Issue: 1

Pages: L47-L51

Date deposited: 27/03/2013

ISSN (print): 0035-8711

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2966

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2009.00760.x


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Funder referenceFunder name
PHY05-51164National Science Foundation