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Meridional flow in the Sun’s convection zone is a single cell in each hemisphere

MPS-Authors
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Gizon,  Laurent
Department Solar and Stellar Interiors, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Cameron,  Robert H.
Department Solar and Stellar Interiors, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Pourabdian,  Majid
Department Solar and Stellar Interiors, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Liang,  Zhi-Chao
Department Solar and Stellar Interiors, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Fournier,  Damien
Department Solar and Stellar Interiors, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Birch,  Aaron
Department Solar and Stellar Interiors, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Gizon, L., Cameron, R. H., Pourabdian, M., Liang, Z.-C., Fournier, D., Birch, A., et al. (2020). Meridional flow in the Sun’s convection zone is a single cell in each hemisphere. Science, 368(6498), 1469-1472. doi:10.1126/science.aaz7119.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-C85B-3
Abstract
The Sun's magnetic field is generated by subsurface motions of the convecting plasma. The latitude at which the magnetic field emerges through the solar surface (as sunspots) drifts toward the equator over the course of the 11-year solar cycle. We use helioseismology to infer the meridional flow (in the latitudinal and radial directions) over two solar cycles covering 1996-2019. Two data sources are used, which agree during their overlap period of 2001-2011. The time-averaged meridional flow is shown to be a single cell in each hemisphere, carrying plasma toward the equator at the base of the convection zone with a speed of similar to 4 meters per second at 45 degrees latitude. Our results support the flux-transport dynamo model, which explains the drift of sunspot-emergence latitudes through the meridional flow.