Dynamo Wave Patterns inside of the Sun Revealed by Torsional Oscillations

Alexander G. Kosovichev, Valery V. Pipin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Torsional oscillations represent bands of fast and slow zonal flows around the Sun, which extend deep into the convection zone and migrate during solar cycles toward the equator following the sunspot "butterfly" diagram. Analysis of helioseismology data obtained in 1996-2018 for almost two solar cycles reveals zones of deceleration of the torsional oscillations inside of the Sun due to dynamo-generated magnetic field. The zonal deceleration originates near the bottom of the convection zone at high latitudes, and migrates to the surface revealing patterns of magnetic dynamo waves predicted by Parker's dynamo theory. The analysis reveals that the primary seat of the solar dynamo is located in a high-latitude zone of the tachocline. It suggests a dynamo scenario that can explain "extended solar cycles" previously observed in the evolving shape of the solar corona. The results show a substantial decrease of the zonal acceleration in the current solar cycle and indicate a further decline of activity in the next solar cycle. Although the relationship between the magnitude of zonal deceleration and the amount of emerged toroidal field that leads to formation of sunspots is not yet established, the results reveal a new perspective for solar cycle modeling and prediction using helioseismology data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL20
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Sun: activity
  • Sun: helioseismology
  • Sun: interior
  • Sun: magnetic fields
  • Sun: rotation
  • dynamo


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