The vorticity of Solar photospheric flows on the scale of granulation
We employ time sequences of images observed with a G-band filter (λ4305Å) by the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) on board of Hinode spacecraft at different latitude along solar central meridian to study vorticity of granular flows in quiet Sun areas during deep minimum of solar activity. Using a feature correlation tracking (FCT) technique, we calculate the vorticity of granular-scale flows. Assuming the known pattern of vertical flows (upward in granules and downward in intergranular lanes), we infer the sign of kinetic helicity of these flows. We show that the kinetic helicity of granular flows and intergranular vortices exhibits a weak hemispheric preference, which is in agreement with the action of the Coriolis force. This slight hemispheric sign asymmetry, however, is not statistically significant given large scatter in the average vorticity. The sign of the current helicity density of network magnetic fields computed using full disk vector magnetograms from the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun (SOLIS) does not show any hemispheric preference. The combination of these two findings suggests that the photospheric dynamo operating on the scale of granular flows is non-helical in nature.
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