Solar Physics

, Volume 158, Issue 1, pp 173–195 | Cite as

Periodicities in the solar differential rotation, surface magnetic field and planetary configurations

  • J. Javaraiah
  • M. H. Gokhale


Using Greenwich data on sunspot groups during 1874–1976, we have studied the temporal variations in the differential rotation parametersA andB by determining their values during moving time intervals of lengths 1–5 yr successively displaced by 1 yr. FFT analysis of the temporal variations ofB (orB/A) shows periodicities 18.3 ± 3 yr, 8.5 ± 1 yr, 3.9 ± 0.5 yr, 3.1 ± 0.2 yr, and 2.6 ± 0.2 yr at levels ≥ 2σ. This analysis also shows five more periodicities at levels 1–2σ. The maximum entropy method is used to set narrower limits on the values of these periods. The reality of the existence of all these periodicities ofB (orB/A ) except the one at 2.8 yr is confirmed by analyzing the simulated time series ofB andB/A with values ofA andB randomly distributed within the limits of their respective uncertainties. Four of the prominent periods ofB agree, within their uncertainties, with the known periods in the the large-scale photospheric magnetic field. The deviations from the average differential rotation are larger near the sunspot minima. On longer time scales, the variations in the amount of sunspot activity per unit time are well correlated to the variations in the amplitudes of the ‘torsional oscillation’ represented by the 22-yr periodicity inB. All the periods inB found here are in good agreement with the synodic periods of two or more consecutive planets. The possibility of planetary configurations providing perturbations needed for the Sun's MHD torsional oscillations is speculated upon and briefly discussed.


Longe Time Scale Differential Rotation Sunspot Group Maximum Entropy Method Torsional Oscillation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arévalo, M. J., Gomez, R., Vázquez, M., Balthasar, H., and Wöhl, H.: 1982,Astron. Astrophys. 111, 266.Google Scholar
  2. Balthasar, H. and Wöhl, H.: 1980,Astron. Astrophys. 92, 111.Google Scholar
  3. Balthasar, H., Vázquez, M., and Wöhl, H.: 1986,Astron. Astrophys. 155, 87.Google Scholar
  4. Blizard, J. B.: 1981,Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 13, 876.Google Scholar
  5. Bracewell, R. N.: 1988,Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. 230, 535.Google Scholar
  6. Brault, J. W. and White, O. R.: 1971,Astron. Astrophys. 13, 169.Google Scholar
  7. Clark, D. H., Yallop, B. D., Richard, S., Emerson, B., and Rudd, P. J.: 1979,Nature 280, 299.Google Scholar
  8. Csada, I. K.: 1974,Solar Phys. 35, 325.Google Scholar
  9. Fairbridge, R. W. and Shirley, J. H.: 1987,Solar Phys. 110, 191.Google Scholar
  10. Gilman, P. A.: 1992, in Karen L. Harvey (ed.), ‘The Solar Cycle’,ASP Conf. Series 27, 241.Google Scholar
  11. Gilman, P. A. and Howard, R.: 1984,Astrophys. J. 283, 385.Google Scholar
  12. Gokhale, M H. and Javaraiah, J.: 1990, in E. R. Priest and V. Krishan (eds.), ‘Basic Plasma Process on the Sun’,IAU Symp. 142, 119.Google Scholar
  13. Gokhale, M. H. and Javaraiah, J.: 1995,Solar Phys., in press.Google Scholar
  14. Gokhale, M. H., Javaraiah, J., Kutty, K. N., and Varghese, B. A.: 1992,Solar Phys. 138, 35.Google Scholar
  15. Hanslmeier, A. and Lustig, G.: 1986,Astron Astrophys. 154, 227.Google Scholar
  16. Hathaway, D. H. and Wilson, R. M.: 1990,Astrophys. J. 357, 271.Google Scholar
  17. Howard, R. and LaBonte, B. J.: 1980,Astrophys. J. 239, L33.Google Scholar
  18. Howard, R. and LaBonte, B. J.: 1986, in J. O. Stenflo (ed.), ‘Solar and Stellar Magnetic Fields: Origin and Coronal Effects’,IAU Symp. 102, 101.Google Scholar
  19. Jose, P. D.: 1965,Astron. J. 70, 193.Google Scholar
  20. Kambry, M. A. and Nishikawa, J.: 1990,Solar Phys. 126, 89.Google Scholar
  21. Komm, R. W., Howard, R. F. and Harvey, J. W.: 1993,Solar Phys. 143, 19.Google Scholar
  22. LaBonte, B. J. and Howard, R.: 1982,Solar Phys. 75, 161.Google Scholar
  23. Levy, E. H.: 1992, in Karen L. Harvey (ed.), ‘The Solar Cycle’,ASP Conf. Series 27, 139.Google Scholar
  24. Lustig, G.: 1983,Astron. Astrophys. 125, 355.Google Scholar
  25. Paternò, L., Spadaro, D., Zappala, R. A., and Zuccarello, F.: 1991,Astron. Astrophys. 252, 337.Google Scholar
  26. Rosner, R. and Weiss, N.O.: 1992, in Karen L. Harvey (ed.), ‘The Solar Cycle’,ASP Conf. Series 27, 511.Google Scholar
  27. Sakurai, K.: 1977,Nature 269, 401.Google Scholar
  28. Schüssler, M.: 1987, B. R. Durney and S. Sofia (eds.), ‘The Internal Solar Angular Velocity’,Astro-physics and Space Science Library 137, 303.Google Scholar
  29. Snodgrass, H. B.: 1991,Astrophys. J. 383, L85.Google Scholar
  30. Stenflo, J. O. and Vogel, M.: 1986,Nature 319, 285.Google Scholar
  31. Tuominen, J. and Kyröläinen, J.: 1981,Solar Phys. 74, 153.Google Scholar
  32. Tuominen, J., Tuominen, I., and Kyröläinen, J.: 1983,Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. 205, 691.Google Scholar
  33. Ulrych, T. J. and Bhishop, T. N.: 1975,Rev. Geophys. Space Phys. 13, 183.Google Scholar
  34. Walén, C.: 1944,Arkiv Mat. Astron. Fys. 30A, No. 15.Google Scholar
  35. Ward, F.: 1965,Astrophys. J. 141, 534.Google Scholar
  36. Ward, F.: 1966,Astrophys. J. 145, 416.Google Scholar
  37. Wolf, C. L.: 1976,Astrophys. J. 205, 612.Google Scholar
  38. Wood, R. M. and Wood, K. D.: 1965,Nature 208, 129.Google Scholar
  39. Yoshimura, H. and Kambry, M. A.: 1993a,Solar Phys. 143, 205.Google Scholar
  40. Yoshimura, H. and Kambry, M. A.: 1993b,Solar Phys. 148, 11.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Javaraiah
    • 1
  • M. H. Gokhale
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of AstrophysicsBangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations