Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-10-2009

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal

ISSN

0004-637X

Volume

707

First Page

67

Last Page

73

DOI

10.1088/0004-637X/707/1/67

Abstract

ABSTRACT We have measured the average radial (cell center to network boundary) profile of the continuum intensity contrast associated with supergranular flows using data from the Precision Solar Photometric Telescope at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory. After removing the contribution of the network flux elements by the application ofmasks based on Ca iiKintensity and averaging overmore than 105 supergranular cells,we find a∼0.1% decrease in red and blue continuum intensity from the supergranular cell centers outward, corresponding to a∼1.0 K decrease in brightness temperature across the cells. The radial intensity profilemay be caused either by the thermal signal associated with the supergranular flows or a variation in the packing density of unresolved magnetic flux elements. These are not unambiguously distinguished by the observations, and we raise the possibility that the network magnetic fields play an active role in supergranular scale selection by enhancing the radiative cooling of the deep photosphere at the cell boundaries.

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