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Paper: Analysis Methods of the Flow Field around Decaying Sunspots
Volume: 526, Solar Polarization Workshop 8
Page: 311
Authors: Strecker, H.; Bello González, N.
Abstract: The moat flow, a radial outflow surrounding fully-fledged sunspots, is a well characterised phenomenon. Nevertheless, its origin and especially its relation to the penumbra is still a controversial topic. We investigate the evolution of the horizontal velocity of the flow around sunspots over several days during sunspot decay. SDO/HMI Doppler maps which allow for the continuous observation of an active region are used. We describe the analysis method used to retrieve the horizontal velocity of the flow field for different positions on the solar disc. For that purpose, several large and small scale flow patterns, like, e.g., differential rotation, the centre-to-limb variation in the convective blueshift, and a residual pattern caused by instrumental effects, have to be taken into account in order to properly measure the horizontal velocity of the flow field surrounding the sunspots. We find that the flow field around sunspots with fully developed penumbra has a decreasing velocity profile with increasing distances to the sunspot, as already found by other authors. Most important, the velocity amplitude decreases and the profile changes as the penumbra dissolves and the sunspots decay. Our findings confirm the related disappearance of the moat flow with penumbra. Yet, we observe a remnant outflow after the penumbra disappears, which hints towards the possible overtaking of the moat flow by a supergranular flow in decaying sunspots.
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