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Session 74 - The Quiet & Active Sun.
Display session, Friday, January 09
Exhibit Hall,

[74.04] Mesogranulation as a Distinct Scale of Convection in the Sun

K. T. Bachmann, G. Khatri, J. M. Petitto (Birmingham-Southern College), D. H. Hathaway (Space Science Laboratory, NASA/MSFC)

We present evidence for the existence of mesogranulation as a scale of convection distinct from granulation and supergranulation through analysis of full-disk Doppler velocity images of the Sun collected by the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) aboard the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Our analysis procedures isolate nearly steady flows in the solar photosphere and yield power spectra of convection for spherical harmonic degrees up to l = 1000. Each spectrum exhibits an obvious supergranulation peak at l 130 and a broad secondary peak at l 600 with a distinct break in the spectrum between these peaks at l 300. We believe that this secondary peak is a signature of mesogranulation with typical cell diameters of about 7 Mm.

Our standard analysis procedure is to first remove the p-mode oscillation signal by averaging individual Dopplergrams over 17-minute intervals. Next, by fitting to standard functional forms we remove Doppler signals due to the motion of the spacecraft, the convective blueshift, solar rotation including differential rotation, and the meridional circulation in order to produce Dopplergrams dominated by convective motions. By mapping these processed images onto heliographic coordinates and projecting onto spherical harmonics, we produce a power spectrum of solar convection for each 17-minute period.

We construct synthetic images and pass them through the same analysis procedure in order to determine the actual solar convection spectrum that reproduces the analyzed results. We find that a small but increasing percentage of high-degree convective power is lost in the analysis as we approach the limit of resolution of the detector but that the broad, mesogranulation peak at l 600 must be included in the convection spectrum of the synthetic images.

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