The Latitudinal Motion of Sunspots and Solar Meridional Circulations.
Physical sciences research papers,
AIR FORCE CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LABS L G HANSCOM FIELD MASS
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There are many theories of the large-scale circulation of the sun. Fundamental to many of these is a meridional cell which transports momentum between the pole and equator. Observational verification has devolved most often upon the analysis of the latitudinal drifts of sunspots. A comprehensive analysis of sunspot drifts shows some peculiar results. Two conclusions can be drawn from these results. First, sunspot data cannot be used to verify the existence of a mean meridional circulation on the sun. Second, the residual meridional drifts averaged over time and longitude are very much smaller than their day-to-day counterparts, lending support to the idea that the latter are the more fundamental to the large-scale solar circulation. Author