Flows associated with emerging solar active regions
Magnetic active regions on the Sun (including sunspots) are thought to have their origin in magnetic flux tubes that rise to the solar surface from deep in the convection zone. Helioseismology promises to be able to detect the subsurface flows that are expected to be associated with these flux tubes beneath the solar surface. In addition, helioseismology can measure the flows associated with active regions during their emergence through the solar surface, evolution, and decay.
This project will use helioseismology to carry out both statistical studies and case studies of emerging regions using SDO observations, in order to identify, describe, and interpret the phases of the emergence and evolution processes. This work will have important implications for theories of the origin of active regions and the solar cycle by either detecting, or placing strong upper limits on, the subsurface flow fields associated with emerging active regions. In addition, the near-surface flows fields measured in this work will provide important inputs to dynamo models of the solar cycle.