Letter to the Editor
Evidence of photospheric vortex flows at supergranular junctions observed by FG/SOT (Hinode)
Max-Planck Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
Accepted: 14 November 2008
Context. Twisting motions of different sorts are observed in several layers of the solar atmosphere. Chromospheric sunspot whorls and rotation of sunspots or even higher up in the lower corona sigmoids are examples of the large-scale twisted topology of many solar features. Nevertheless, their occurrence on a large scale in the quiet photosphere has not been investigated yet.
Aims. The present study reveals the existence of vortex flows located at the supergranular junctions of the quiet Sun.
Methods. We used a 1-h and a 5-h time series of the granulation in blue continuum and G-band images from FG/SOT to derive the photospheric flows. A feature-tracking technique called balltracking was performed to track the granules and reveal the underlying flow fields.
Results. In both time series, we identify long lasting vortex flow located at supergranular junctions. The first vortex flow lasts at least 1 h and is ~20´´ wide (~15.5 Mm). The second vortex flow lasts more than 2 h and is ~27´´ wide (~21 Mm).
Key words: Sun: photosphere / Sun: granulation
© ESO, 2009