Modeling Solar Supergranulation

Summer 1997

Student: Justin Boland

Advisor: Dr. Steven R. Lantz

Abstract: Cellular convection patterns on the sun's surface are observed to occur in several distinct sizes, the largest of which is called supergranulation. This pattern, with a horizontal scale of 30 Mm, is believed to be linked to the ionization of solar gases occurring at a comparable depth. We extended the capabilities of a magnetohydrodynamic linear stability code so that it can ultimately take into account the thermodynamic effects of ionization zones. The resources we used included IBM RS/6000 workstations, the IBM SP2 supercomputer at Cornell, the PV Wave Advantage scientific visualization software, and numerous coffee makers.

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