Detection of supergranulation alignment in polar regions of the Sun by helioseismology

Kaori Nagashima, Junwei Zhao, Alexander G. Kosovichev, Takashi Sekii

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9 Scopus citations


We report on a new phenomenon of "alignment" of supergranulation cells in the polar regions of the Sun. Recent high-resolution data sets obtained by the Solar Optical Telescope on board the Hinode satellite enabled us to investigate supergranular structures in high-latitude regions of the Sun. We have carried out a local helioseismology time-distance analysis of the data and detected acoustic travel-time variations due to the supergranular flows. The supergranulation cells in both the north and south polar regions show systematic alignment patterns in the north-south direction. The south-pole data sets obtained in a month-long Hinode campaign indicate that the supergranulation alignment property may be quite common in the polar regions. We also discuss the latitudinal dependence of the supergranulation cell sizes; the data show that the east-west cell size decreases toward higher latitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART II
StatePublished - Jan 10 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Convection
  • Sun: helioseismology


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