Volume 409, Number 1, October I 2003
|Page(s)||299 - 308|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
Families of fragmenting granules and their relation to meso– and supergranular flow fields
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 57 avenue d'Azereix, BP 826, 65008 Tarbes, France
2 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 14 avenue E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
3 Institut Universitaire de France, France
4 Kiepenheuer–Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstrasse 6, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
5 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon, 92195 Meudon, France
Corresponding author: Th. Roudier, email@example.com
Accepted: 10 June 2003
3D analysis of the granular intensity field (11–hour time sequence from the Swedish Vacuum Solar Telescope on La Palma, Canary Islands), demonstrates that a significant fraction of the granules in the photosphere are organized in the form of “Trees of Fragmenting Granules" (TFGs). A TFG consists of a family of repeatedly splitting granules, originating from a single granule at its beginning. A striking result is that TFGs can live much longer (up to 8 h) than individual granules (10 min). We find that 62% of the area covered by granules belongs to TFGs of a lifetime >1.5 h. When averaged in time, such long–lived TFGs correspond to coherent diverging flows which may be identified as mesogranules. We also find a correlation between the network and the spatial distribution of TFGs.
Key words: Sun: photosphere / Sun: granulation
© ESO, 2003
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