Excitation of acoustic waves by vortices in the quiet Sun

I. N. Kitiashvili, A. G. Kosovichev, N. N. Mansour, A. A. Wray

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45 Scopus citations


The five-minute oscillations are one of the basic properties of solar convection. Observations show a mixture of a large number of acoustic wave fronts propagating from their sources. We investigate the process of acoustic waves excitation from the point of view of individual events, by using a realistic three-dimensional radiative hydrodynamic simulation of the quiet Sun. The results show that the excitation events are related to the dynamics of vortex tubes (or swirls) in intergranular lanes of solar convection. These whirlpool-like flows are characterized by very strong horizontal velocities (7-11 km s-1) and downflows (≈7 km s-1), and are accompanied by strong decreases of temperature, density, and pressure at the surface and 0.5-1 Mm below the surface. High-speed whirlpool flows can attract and capture other vortices. According to our simulation results the processes of vortex interaction, such as vortex annihilation, can cause excitation of acoustic waves on the Sun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2 PART II
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical
  • Sun: granulation
  • Sun: oscillations
  • Turbulence
  • Waves


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