Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM-CNRS, Université Paris 7 Diderot, IRFU/SAp, Centre de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Received: 28 October 2014
Accepted: 26 February 2015
Solar activity has significantly changed over the last two Schwabe cycles. After a long and deep minimum at the end of Cycle 23, the weaker activity of Cycle 24 contrasts with the previous cycles. In this work, the response of the solar acoustic oscillations to solar activity is used in order to provide insights into the structural and magnetic changes in the sub-surface layers of the Sun during this on-going unusual period of low activity. We analyze 18 yr of continuous observations of the solar acoustic oscillations collected by the Sun-as-a-star GOLF instrument on board the SoHO spacecraft. From the fitted mode frequencies, the temporal variability of the frequency shifts of the radial, dipolar, and quadrupolar modes are studied for different frequency ranges that are sensitive to different layers in the solar sub-surface interior. The low-frequency modes show nearly unchanged frequency shifts between Cycles 23 and 24, with a time evolving signature of the quasi-biennial oscillation, which is particularly visible for the quadrupole component revealing the presence of a complex magnetic structure. The modes at higher frequencies show frequency shifts that are 30% smaller during Cycle 24, which is in agreement with the decrease observed in the surface activity between Cycles 23 and 24. The analysis of 18 yr of GOLF oscillations indicates that the structural and magnetic changes responsible for the frequency shifts remained comparable between Cycle 23 and Cycle 24 in the deeper sub-surface layers below 1400 km as revealed by the low-frequency modes. The frequency shifts of the higher-frequency modes, sensitive to shallower regions, show that Cycle 24 is magnetically weaker in the upper layers of Sun.
Key words: methods: data analysis / Sun: helioseismology / Sun: activity
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
The following 68 GOLF frequency tables are available and Table A.1 is also available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/578/A137
© ESO, 2015