Vorticity structures in solar convection

Isosurface representations of the fluid vorticity component parallel to the rotation axis. This measures the helical character of the flow in a numerical simulation of solar convection. The viewpoint is here From the North Pole, with the gray disk the equatorial plane In equatorial region 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). Such vortical structures are typical of deep thermal convection influenced by rotation. Here differential rotation stretches those tubes in the longitudinal direction, turning them into warped sheets. Click here for an image of the same vorticity structures viewed from 5 degrees above the equatorial plane.


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