AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 4. Helioseismology and the Solar Interior
Display, Monday, June 3, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[4.18] Numerical Simulations of Supergranular Magnetoconvection

M.L. DeRosa, N.E. Hurlburt, D. Alexander (Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory), A.M. Rucklidge (Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds)

The complex interactions between the turbulent fluid motions within the solar convection zone and the related processes of emergence, evolution, and cancellation of magnetic field at the photosphere have received much recent attention. It is likely that such interactions depend on the relative magnitudes of the field and of the flows, but the details of this coupling are not well understood. To further investigate the magnetohydrodynamics within such turbulent convection, we have constructed several idealized simulations of fully compressible MHD fluids, each contained within a curved, spherical segment that approximates a localized volume of subphotospheric convection on the sun.

In some cases, the horizontal extent of the computational volume spans 30 heliographic degrees in both latitude and longitude, thereby enabling the dynamics within a large field containing approximately 100 supergranular-sized cells to be studied. By varying the amount of total (unsigned) flux permeating the domain, we are able to investigate analogs to patches of subsurface convection that generally resemble either quiet-sun or active regions when viewed from above. In addition, simplified potential-field extrapolations into the volume above the computational domain are used to illustrate how the coronal field topology might behave in response to the continually evolving magnetic field within the convecting layers. This work was supported by NASA through grant NAG 5-3077 to Stanford University and by Lockheed Martin Independent Research and Development funds.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.