GENERAL CIRCULATION OF THE SOLAR ATMOSPHERE FROM OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE,
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS L G HANSCOM FIELD MASS
Pagination or Media Count:
Analysis of ten years 1935 to 1944 of Greenwich spot data shows a consistent, and statistically very significant correlation of spot group proper motions, in the proper sense. These results provide strong support for the existence of large-scale waves which are some modest fraction of the solar circumference, but larger than the sunspot groups. Moreover, these waves transport angular momentum up the gradient of angular velocity toward the equatorial regions from higher latitudes across at least the entire sunspot zone. It is not known, however, whether these eddies are the primary or only source of momentum to maintain the equatorial acceleration of the sun. However, if this source were shut off, and all other processes continued unabated, this layer of the sun between latitudes 20 degrees would reach solid rotation in about 5 12 rotations. Because this eddy transport of momentum is counter to the gradient of angular velocity, there is an implied transformation of the kinetic energy of the eddies into the kinetic energy of the mean east-west flow. Of possibly even more interest, however, might be the possibility of transfers of kinetic energy between eddies of all different scale sizes extending down the entire spectrum to include sunspot groups and the spots themselves. Moreover, some eddy sizes in this layer is likely to be primarily responsible for a conversion of potential to kinetic energy.