Volume 652, August 2021
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Section||The Sun and the Heliosphere|
|Published online||17 August 2021|
Changes in granulation scales over the solar cycle seen with SDO/HMI and Hinode/SOT
Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, CNES, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
2 Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, 5 place Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
3 PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités UPMC Univ. Paris 06 Univ. Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
4 Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, 3251 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA
Accepted: 25 May 2021
Context. The Sun is the only star where the superficial turbulent convection can be observed at very high spatial resolution. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has continuously observed the full Sun from space with multi-wavelength filters since July 2010. In particular, the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) instrument takes high-cadence frames (45 s) of continuum intensity in which solar granulation is visible.
Aims. We aimed to follow the evolution of the solar granules over an activity cycle and look for changes in their spatial properties.
Methods. We investigated the density of granules and their mean area derived directly from the segmentation of deconvolved images from SDO/HMI. To perform the segmentation, we define granules as convex elements of images.
Results. We measured an approximately 2% variation in the density and the mean area of granules over the cycle, the density of granules being greater at solar maximum with a smaller granule mean area. The maximum density appears to be delayed by about one year compared to classical activity indicators, such as the sunspot number. We complemented this study with high-spatial-resolution observations obtained with Hinode/SOTBFI (Solar Optical Telescope Broadband Filter Imager), which are consistent with our results.
Conclusions. The observed variations in solar granulation at the disc centre reveal a direct insight into the change in the physical properties that occur in the upper convective zone during a solar cycle. These variations can be due to interactions between convection and magnetic fields, either at the global scale or, locally, at the granulation scale.
Key words: Sun: granulation / Sun: activity
© J. Ballot et al. 2021
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