Is the current lack of solar activity only skin deep

BROOMHALL, A. M., CHAPLIN, W. J., ELSWORTH, Y., FLETCHER, S. T. and NEW, R. (2009). Is the current lack of solar activity only skin deep. Astrophysical journal letters, 700 (2), L162-L165.

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Link to published version:: 10.1088/0004-637X/700/2/L162

Abstract

The Sun is a variable star whose magnetic activity and total irradiance vary on a timescale of approximately 11 years. The current activity minimum has attracted considerable interest because of its unusual duration and depth. This raises the question: what might be happening beneath the surface where the magnetic activity ultimately originates? The surface activity can be linked to the conditions in the solar interior by the observation and analysis of the frequencies of the Sun's natural seismic modes of oscillation-the p modes. These seismic frequencies respond to changes in activity and are probes of conditions within the Sun. The Birmingham Solar-Oscillations Network (BiSON) has made measurements of p-mode frequencies over the last three solar activity cycles, and so is in a unique position to explore the current unusual and extended solar minimum. We show that the BiSON data reveal significant variations of the p-mode frequencies during the current minimum. This is in marked contrast to the surface activity observations, which show little variation over the same period. The level of the minimum is significantly deeper in the p-mode frequencies than in the surface observations. We observe a quasi-biennial signal in the p-mode frequencies, which has not previously been observed at mid-and low-activity levels. The stark differences in the behavior of the frequencies and the surface activity measures point to activity-related processes occurring in the solar interior, which are yet to reach the surface, where they may be attenuated.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Thin Films Research Centre > Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research
Identification Number: 10.1088/0004-637X/700/2/L162
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2010 09:46
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2010 09:46
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2016

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