Toroidal field reversals and the axisymmetric tayler instability

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Abstract

We present axisymmetric numerical simulations of the solar interior, including the convection zone and an extended radiative interior. We find that differential rotation in the convection zone induces a toroidal field from an initially purely poloidal field. This toroidal field becomes unstable to the axisymmetric Tayler instability and undergoes equatorward propagating toroidal field reversals. These reversals occur in the absence of a dynamo and without accompanying poloidal field reversals. The nature and presence of such reversals depends sensitively on the initial poloidal field strength imposed, with north-south symmetric reversals only seen at a particular initial field strength. Coupled with a dynamo mechanism which regenerates the poloidal field this could be one ingredient in the sunspot cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume735
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 10 2011

Keywords

  • Sun: interior
  • hydrodynamics
  • instabilities
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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