Asymptotic g modes: Evidence for a rapid rotation of the solar core
Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Asymptotic g modes: Evidence for a rapid rotation of the solar core

  • Author(s): Fossat, E
  • Boumier, P
  • Corbard, T
  • Provost, J
  • Salabert, D
  • Schmider, FX
  • Gabriel, AH
  • Grec, G
  • Renaud, C
  • Robillot, JM
  • Roca-Cortes, T
  • Turck-Chieze, S
  • Ulrich, RK
  • Lazrek, M
  • et al.

We present the identification of very low frequency g modes in the asymptotic regime and two important parameters that have long been waited for: the core rotation rate, and the asymptotic equidistant period spacing of these g modes. The GOLF instrument on board the SOHO space observatory has provided two decades of full-disk helioseismic data. In the present study, we search for possible collective frequency modulations that are produced by periodic changes in the deep solar structure. Such modulations provide access to only very low frequency g modes, thus allowing statistical methods to take advantage of their asymptotic properties. For oscillatory periods in the range between 9 and nearly 48 hours, almost 100 g modes of spherical harmonic degree 1 and more than 100 g modes of degree 2 are predicted. They are not observed individually, but when combined, they unambiguouslyprovide their asymptotic period equidistance and rotational splittings, in excellent agreement with the requirements of the asymptotic approximations. Previously, p-mode helioseismology allowed the g-mode period equidistance parameter $P_0$ to be bracketed inside a narrow range, between approximately 34 and 35 minutes. Here, $P_0$ is measured to be 34 min 01 s, with a 1 s uncertainty. The previously unknown g-mode splittings have now been measured from a non-synodic reference with very high accuracy, and they imply a mean weighted rotation of 1277 $\pm$ 10 nHz (9-day period) of their kernels, resulting in a rapid rotation frequency of 1644 $\pm$ 23 nHz (period of one week) of the solar core itself, which is a factor 3.8 $\pm$ 0.1 faster than the rotation of the radiative envelope. The g modes are known to be the keys to a better understanding of the structure and dynamics of the solar core. Their detection with these precise parameters will certainly stimulate a new era of research in this field.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View