Long-term variation of solar surface differential rotation

L. Zhang1,2*, K. Mursula2, I. Usoskin3, H. Wang1 and Z. Du1
1Key Laboratory of Solar Activity, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road 20A ChaoYang District 100012, Beijing, China
2Department of Physics, University of Oulu, Finland
33Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Finland

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Recently, the surface di erential rotation parameters were found to vary di erently with time for the northern and southern hemispheres of the Sun. Both sunspots and flares strongly suggest that the northern hemisphere rotated considerably faster than the southern during the last three solar cycles, showing a strong north-south asymmetry in solar surface rotation. In order to study the long-term variation of solar surface differential rotation, the location of sunspots during 1877-2009 is analyzed separately in the two hemispheres. The variation of the rotation of the northern hemisphere is found to have an anti-correlation with that of the southern hemisphere and the variation suggests a period of 10-12 cycles.

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Keywords : Sun: rotation – Sun: activity