This book presents an overview of observational and theoretical knowledge of solar granulation. When examined with a sufficiently powerful telescope the surface of the Sun reveals an irregular, cellular pattern of polygonal bright elements - granules - separated by narrow dark lanes. The application of high-resolution observing techniques (both from the ground and from high-altitude balloons) has given us a detailed picture of the properties and mode of origin of the granulation. The granulation is basically a convective phenomenon, each granule and its surrounding dark material representing a single convection cell. A useful feature of this volume is an extended discussion of the theory of convection, emphasizing astrophysical convection but including where relevant the theory and results of laboratory experiments. The observational and theoretical advances described in this book are a testament to the transformation of this branch of stellar physics. The authors take pains to make this complex branch of fluid dynamics accessible to the non-specialist.
Table of Contents
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Historical introduction; 2. The morphology, evolution and dynamics of the granulation and supergranulation; 3. An introduction to the theory of convection; 4. The theory of astrophysical convection; Interpretation of the granulation and spuergranulation; References; Name index; Subject index.