Supergranulation: Self-organization In The Surface Shear

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society



First Page


Conference Name

American Astronomical Society, SPD meeting #37

Conference City

Durham, New Hampshire

Conference Dates

25 - 30 June 2006


Supergranular motions in the solar photosphere are implicated in phemomena as diverse as the global solar dynamo and the heating of the solar chromosphere, yet the origin of these motions is only poorly understood. Moreover, recent observations have revealed several startling properties of the flows: a wavelike spectrum, longitudinal alignment of the pattern, and very weak thermal contrast. This talk will review our current understanding of the solar supergranulation, the possible origin of its scale, and a proposed connection between its newly discovered properties and the helioseismically observed surface shear layer.