A new method to derive the helioseismic sensitivity kernels for the Sun’s large-scale internal flows is developed. The new method is based on the idea of placing a small-volume flow perturbation inside the Sun’s model, simulating the wavefield in the photosphere, and then measuring the phase shifts caused by this internal perturbation.
Subsurface meridional flows from ring-diagram analysis showed a clear hemispheric asymmetry in last 18 years. Interestingly, this flow asymmetry leads the magnetic flux and sunspot number asymmetry by 3.1 – 3.6 years.
What excites the sunspot umbral oscillations? Through analyzing two sunspots observed by FeI line, the authors found that the 3-minute umbral oscillations are likely excited by internal small-scale magnetoconvection associated with umbral dots.
The Sun’s oblateness shows a variation with solar cycles, in phase with the solar activity level in Cycle 23 but in anti-phase with the activity level in Cycle 24. Such a trend of in-phase during odd cycles and anti-phase during even cycles is confirmed after examining past observations.
The Sun’s seismic radius, measured from the frequencies of f modes, is determined using both MDI and HMI data, covering a total of 21 years. It is found that the seismic radius is reduced by 1-2 km during the maxima, but the largest change of the radius happens at about 5 Mm beneath the surface.
Motivated by recent observations we have explored whether the flux-transport dynamo model can work with multi-cell meridional flow. We find that it can work when certain conditions are fulfilled.
Analysis of a large number of supergranules observed with HMI and simulations with a convectively stabilized solar model imply that the average supergranular cell has a peak upflow of 240 m s-1 at a depth of 2.3 Mm and a corresponding peak outward horizontal flow of 700 m s-1 at a depth of 1.6 Mm.
Solar meridional circulation, if mechanically driven and thermally
braked, contains two cells in latitude; generating two cells in depth,
recently observed by SDO/HMI, is a new challenge to theory.