Helioseismic Measurement of Solar Torsional Oscillations

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Science  05 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5565, pp. 101-103
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069190

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Bands of slower and faster rotation, the so-called torsional oscillations, are observed at the Sun's surface to migrate in latitude over the 11-year solar cycle. Here, we report on the temporal variations of the Sun's internal rotation from solar p-mode frequencies obtained over nearly 6 years by the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite. The entire solar convective envelope appears to be involved in the torsional oscillations, with phase propagating poleward and equatorward from midlatitudes at all depths throughout the convective envelope.

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