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Frequencies and amplitudes of high-degree solar oscillations


Kaufman, James Morris (1991) Frequencies and amplitudes of high-degree solar oscillations. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


NOTE: Text or symbols not renderable in plain ASCII are indicated by [...]. Abstract is included in .pdf document.

Measurements of some of the properties of high-degree solar p- and f- mode oscillations are presented. Using high-resolution velocity images from Big Bear Solar Observatory, we have measured mode frequencies, which provide information about the composition and internal structure of the Sun, and mode velocity amplitudes (corrected for the effects of atmospheric seeing), which tell us about the oscillation excitation and damping mechanisms.

We present a new and more accurate table of the Sun's acoustic vibration frequencies, [...], as a function of radial order n and spherical harmonic degree l. These frequencies are averages over azimuthal order m and approximate the normal mode frequencies of a nonrotating, spherically symmetric Sun near solar minimum. The frequencies presented here are for solar p- and f- modes with [...], [...], and [...]. The uncertainties, [...] , in the frequencies are as low as 3.1 pHz. The theoretically expected f-mode frequencies are given by [...], where g is the gravitational acceleration at the surface, [...] is the horizontal component of the wave vector, and [...] is the radius of the Sun. We find that the observed frequencies are significantly less than expected for l > 1000, for which we have no explanation.

Observations of high-degree oscillations, which have very small spatial features, suffer from the effects of atmospheric image blurring and image motion (or "seeing"), thereby reducing the amplitudes of their spatial-frequency components. In an attempt to correct the velocity amplitudes for these effects, we have simultaneously measured the atmospheric modulation transfer function (MTF) by looking at the effects of seeing on the solar limb. We are able to correct the velocity amplitudes using the MTF out to [...]. We find that the frequency of the peak velocity power (as a function of l) increases with l. We also find that the mode energy is approximately constant out to [...], at which point it begins to decrease. Mode energy is expected to be constant as a function of f if the modes are excited by stochastic interactions with convective turbulence in the solar convection zone. Finally, we discuss the accuracy of the seeing correction and a test of the correction using the 1989 March 7 partial solar eclipse.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Libbrecht, Kenneth George
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:2 November 1990
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04022004-155134
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1249
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:02 Apr 2004
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 02:36

Thesis Files

PDF (Kaufman_jm_1991.pdf) - Final Version
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