Volume 649, May 2021
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||11 May 2021|
Helioseismological determination of the subsurface spatial spectrum of solar convection: Demonstration using numerical simulations
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3 Center for Space Science, NYUAD Institute, New York University Abu Dhabi, PO Box 129188, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Accepted: 18 January 2021
Context. Understanding convection is important in stellar physics, for example, when it is an input in stellar evolution models. Helioseismic estimates of convective flow amplitudes in deeper regions of the solar interior disagree by orders of magnitude among themselves and with simulations.
Aims. We aim to assess the validity of an existing upper limit of solar convective flow amplitudes at a depth of 0.96 solar radii obtained using time-distance helioseismology and several simplifying assumptions.
Methods. We generated synthetic observations for convective flow fields from a magnetohydrodynamic simulation (MURaM) using travel-time sensitivity functions and a noise model. We compared the estimates of the flow amplitude with the actual value of the flow.
Results. For the scales of interest (ℓ < 100), we find that the current procedure for obtaining an upper limit gives the correct order of magnitude of the flow for the given flow fields. We also show that this estimate is not an upper limit in a strict sense because it underestimates the flow amplitude at the largest scales by a factor of about two because the scale dependence of the signal-to-noise ratio has to be taken into account. After correcting for this and after taking the dependence of the measurements on direction in Fourier space into account, we show that the obtained estimate is indeed an upper limit.
Conclusions. We conclude that time-distance helioseismology is able to correctly estimate the order of magnitude (or an upper limit) of solar convective flows in the deeper interior when the vertical correlation function of the different flow components is known and the scale dependence of the signal-to-noise ratio is taken into account. We suggest that future work should include information from different target depths to better separate the effect of near-surface flows from those at greater depths. In addition, the measurements are sensitive to all three flow directions, which should be taken into account.
Key words: convection / hydrodynamics / instabilities / Sun: helioseismology / Sun: granulation / Sun: photosphere
© V. G. A. Böning et al. 2021
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.