Differential Rotation - Differential Rotation of The Sun

Differential Rotation of The Sun

See also: Solar rotation

On the Sun, the study of oscillations revealed that rotation is roughly constant within the whole radiative interior and variable with radius and latitude within the convective envelope. The Sun has an equatorial rotation speed of ~2 km/s; its differential rotation implies that the angular velocity decreases with increased latitude. The poles make one rotation every 34.3 days and the equator every 25.05 days, as measured relative to distant stars (sidereal rotation).

The highly turbulent nature of solar convection and anisotropies induced by rotation complicate the dynamics of modeling. Molecular dissipation scales on the Sun are at least six orders of magnitude smaller than the depth of the convective envelope. A direct numerical simulation of solar convection would have to resolve this entire range of scales in each of the three dimensions. Consequently, all solar differential rotation models must involve some approximations regarding momentum and heat transport by turbulent motions that are not explicitly computed. Thus, modeling approaches can be classified as either mean-field models or large-eddy simulations according to the approximations.

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