Discovered in 1909, the Evershed effect represents strong mass outflows in sunspot penumbra, where the magnetic field of sunspots is filamentary and almost horizontal. These flows play an important role in sunspots and have been studied in detail using large ground-based and space telescopes, but the basic understanding of its mechanism is still missing. We present results of realistic numerical simulations of the Sun's subsurface dynamics, and argue that the key mechanism of this effect is in nonlinear magnetoconvection that has properties of traveling waves in the presence of a strong, highly inclined magnetic field. The simulations reproduce many observed features of the Evershed effect, including the high-speed "Evershed clouds," the filamentary structure of the flows, and the nonstationary quasiperiodic behavior. The results provide a synergy of previous theoretical models and lead to an interesting prediction of a large-scale organization of the outflows.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Sun: magnetic fields