Vorticity structures in solar convection

Isosurface representations of fluid vorticity parallel to the rotation axis, measuring the helical character of the flow in a numerical simulation of solar convection. The viewpoint is 5 degrees above the equatorial plane, indicated here by the gray disk. In equatorial regions, vorticity structures organize themselves in the form of elongated and flattened tubes oriented approximately parallel to the rotation axis and stacked one against another in longitude, with the direction of rotation alternating from clockwise (blue) to counterclockwise (red) as seen from the North pole. Such vortical structures are typical of deep thermal convection influenced by rotation. At higher latitudes, the vorticity is less organised spatially, but remains substantial in magnitude. Click here for an image of the same vorticity structures viewed from the North Pole.


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   Image added 31 janvier 2012 by


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