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The depth of the solar convection zone
Christensen-Dalsgaard, J.; Gough, D. O.; Thompson, M. J.
AA(Aarhus Universitet, Denmark; High Altitude Observatory, Boulder, CO), AB(Cambridge University Institute of Astronomy, England; Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, Boulder, CO), AC(High Altitude Observatory, Boulder, CO)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 378, Sept. 1, 1991, p. 413-437. Research supported by NASA, SNFO, and Danish Space Board. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
Solar Physics
NASA/STI Keywords:
Convective Flow, Helioseismology, Solar Interior, Solar Oscillations, Sound Propagation, Stellar Composition, Acoustic Velocity, Reynolds Number, Temperature Gradients
Bibliographic Code:


The transition of the temperature gradient between being subadiabatic and adiabatic at the base of the solar convection zone gives rise to a clear signature in the sound speed. Helioseismic measurements of the sound speed therefore permit a determination of the location of the base of the convection zone. Two techniques were tested by applying them to artifical data, obtained by adding simulated noise to frequencies computed from two different solar models. The determinations appear to be relatively insensitive to uncertainties of the physics of the solar interior. From an analysis of observed frequencies of solar oscillation it is concluded that the depth of the solar convection zone is (0.287 + or - 0.003) solar radii.

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