EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 390, Number 1, July IV 2002
Page(s) 359 - 362
Section The Sun
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020771

A&A 390, 359-362 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020771

Spectral behavior of solar oscillations modulated by magnetic variation

Heon-Young Chang

Korea Institute for Advanced Study, 207-43 Cheongryangri-dong Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-012, Korea

(Received 12 April 2002 / Accepted 16 May 2002 )

The principal aim of observational helioseismology is to determine mode parameters of the solar oscillations as accurately as possible. Yet estimates of the mode parameters are subject to many sources of noise, including inevitable gaps in data, stochastic nature of excitation processes, interferences among modes. Another uncertainty in frequency determination results from a modulation of the oscillation frequency in itself. It is well known that variation in the mean strength of the solar magnetic field modulates the frequency. We consider effects of the solar magnetic field variation on the spectral behavior of the power spectrum using a simple model. We show that the solar magnetic field variation can cause unwanted sidelobes beside the main peak in the power spectrum, and consequently show that the effect of the frequency modulation due to the solar magnetic field variation can lead to a bias in frequency determinations. This effect should be considered seriously particularly when the $ l \ne 0$ p-mode multiplets are analyzed to measure the rotational splitting since the separations in both cases could be comparable. In addition to a bias in frequency estimates the line width is also likely to be overestimated due to a line broadening, which is a measure of the life time of the mode. We therefore suggest that determination of the mode parameters should be derived with due care considering the magnetic field variation when a long data set is analyzed. The frequency modulation should be taken into account in the analysis to make a solid conclusion on any subtle dependence of the mode parameters, such as, that on the solar cycle. We emphasize, however, that a realistic model of the magnetic activity variation over the entire surface of the Sun should be involved in order to predict the effect of the solar magnetic field variation on the spectral profiles of the solar oscillations at the quantitative level. Finally, we conclude by pointing out that a new method is required to accommodate the stochastic force and the phase variation.

Key words: methods: data analysis -- Sun: activity -- Sun: helioseismology -- Sun: oscillations

© ESO 2002