Solar Internal Rotation

Frame 142

Frames 82 to 142 zoom and then pause. Frames 142-152 then offer a close-up of the slice into the Sun showing the difference in speed between the local rotation and the smoothed surface rotation. The two features described previously, the polar jet stream and the general speed-up just under the surface, are both more visible in this view.

The polar jet-stream shows up as a red oval here, showing that it is faster than the material above, below, to the north, and to the south. In fact, it is about 10% faster. Note that there is no hint of the jet on the surface. This is a feature that was not expected, and could not be detected without helioseismology.

The fine detail seen as the thin yellow strip at all latitudes from the equator to about 75 degrees shows that the surface moves slower than the regions just below over nearly the entire Sun. There were hints of this from earlier helioseismological work, but only the SOHO observations allow a clean look at this thin near-surface region.

The final frames just say goodbye to the Sun and return it back into the sky.

(Photo Credit: Stanford University)