Journal Article

A more realistic representation of overshoot at the base of the solar convective envelope as seen by helioseismology

J. Christensen-Dalsgaard, M. J. P. F. G. Monteiro, M. Rempel and M. J. Thompson

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 414, issue 2, pages 1158-1174
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18460.x
A more realistic representation of overshoot at the base of the solar convective envelope as seen by helioseismology

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The stratification near the base of the Sun’s convective envelope is governed by processes of convective overshooting and element diffusion, and the region is widely believed to play a key role in the solar dynamo. The stratification in that region gives rise to a characteristic signal in the frequencies of solar p modes, which has been used to determine the depth of the solar convection zone and to investigate the extent of convective overshoot. Previous helioseismic investigations have shown that the Sun’s spherically symmetric stratification in this region is smoother than that in a standard solar model without overshooting, and have ruled out simple models incorporating overshooting, which extend the region of adiabatic stratification and have a more-or-less abrupt transition to subadiabatic stratification at the edge of the overshoot region. In this paper we consider physically motivated models which have a smooth transition in stratification bridging the region from the lower convection zone to the radiative interior beneath. We find that such a model is in better agreement with the helioseismic data than a standard solar model.

Keywords: asteroseismology; convection; Sun: helioseismology; Sun: interior; stars: interiors

Journal Article.  13300 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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