Realistic Simulations of Solar Convection


These data are freely available. If you use the data or some product based on the data in a published paper, please include the following acknowledgment.

The simulations were performed by Robert F. Stein, Ake Nordlund, Dali Georgobiani and David Benson. Their work was supported by NASA grants NNG04GB92G and NAG 512450, NSF grants AST-0205500 and AST-0605738, and by grants from the Danish Center for Scientific Computing.
For further information, please contact Bob Stein, the simulator of the data, at

Description of the Archived Data

Results of realistic simulations of solar hydrodynamic convection on supergranulation scales (48 Mm wide by 20 Mm deep) are available on the MDI Data Base at Stanford University in FITS format. Data is stored at 1-minute cadence. The three-dimensional spatial grid is 500^3. Horizontal spacing is uniformly 96 km. The first and third dimensions are the horizontal. Vertical spacing is non-uniform varying from 12 km at the surface to 70 km at 20 Mm. The vertical direction is the second dimension. The vertical grid is in vert_scale.txt. There are two data sets.

Data set 1 consists of 511 minutes = 8.517 hours solar time for the case of no rotation. The variables are the horizontal velocity (Vx, Vz), vertical velocity (Vy), temperature and density. Each variable is stored in a different directory, each snapshot in a separate file. Each variable occupies approximately 500.0 MB disk space for each snapshot. Every 20 minutes of data are in one sub-directory. Retrieving such a 20 min sub-directory of one variable involves approximately 10.0 GB of data.

Data set 2 consists of approximately 65 hours solar time, with uniform background rotation and develops a surface shear layer. It is in process of being transferred to the MDI data base. The variables are the horizontal (Vx, Vz) and vertical (Vy) velocity, density, temperature, pressure, electron density, and Gamma_1.

Data Retrieval

Dataset 1:

Vy (vertical)

Dataset 2:

Not yet available