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Science

Weak Solar Convection 100 Times Slower Than Predicted 95

An anonymous reader writes about an observation that convection in the outer layer of the Sun seems not to behave how it ought to: "These new findings based on SDO imagery, if verified, would upend our understanding of how heat is transported outwards by the Sun and challenges existing explanations of the formation of sunspots, the magnetic field generation of the sun, not to mention the concept of convective mixing of light and heavy elements in the solar atmosphere. 'However, our results (PDF) suggest that convective motions in the Sun are nearly 100 times smaller than these current theoretical expectations,' continued Hanasoge, also a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Plank Institute in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany. 'These motions are indeed that slow in the Sun, then the most widely accepted theory concerning the generation of solar magnetic field is broken, leaving us with no compelling theory to explain its generation of magnetic fields and the need to overhaul our understanding of the physics of the Sun's interior.'"

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