Modeling Rossby waves in the Solar Interior

Theoretical and/or numerical project modeling Rossby waves in the Sun

The Sun's complex dynamics is controlled by buoyancy and rotation in the convection zone and by magnetic forces in the atmosphere and corona. An expected but elusive component of the solar interior dynamics are waves of vorticity due to the Coriolis force, known as Rossby waves. These waves have recently been observed at the Sun's surface and in the shallow subsurface layers at angular wavenumbers between 4 and 15. The waves have lifetimes of several months, well-defined mode frequencies below 200~nHz in a co-rotating frame, and eigenfunctions of vorticity that peak at the equator. This theoretical and/or numerical project would consist of modeling the spectrum and eigenfunctions of the solar Rossby waves, with the aim of interpreting the observations. Among the questions to be answered are:

  1. Which radial orders are contributing to the observations?
  2. What are the horizontal eigenfunctions of these modes?
  3. How do the waves interact with convective flows?

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