Solar Interior Rotation and its Variation

Rachel Howe
National Solar Observatory,
950 N. Cherry Ave.,
Tucson AZ 85719, U.S.A.

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This article surveys the development of observational understanding of the interior rotation of the Sun and its temporal variation over approximately forty years, starting with the 1960s attempts to determine the solar core rotation from oblateness and proceeding through the development of helioseismology to the detailed modern picture of the internal rotation deduced from continuous helioseismic observations during solar cycle 23. After introducing some basic helioseismic concepts, it covers, in turn, the rotation of the core and radiative interior, the “tachocline” shear layer at the base of the convection zone, the differential rotation in the convection zone, the near-surface shear, the pattern of migrating zonal flows known as the torsional oscillation, and the possible temporal variations at the bottom of the convection zone. For each area, the article also briefly explores the relationship between observations and models.

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