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The COFFIES DRIVE Science Center

Presentation #125.26 in the session General Topics: Solar — Poster Session.

Published onOct 20, 2022
The COFFIES DRIVE Science Center

Variations in solar activity are Consequences of Fields and Flows of the Interior and Exterior of the Sun (COFFIES). NASA’s new COFFIES Heliophysics Drive Science Center strives to understand how the Sun generates the quasi-cyclic magnetic field that extends throughout the heliosphere. The Center brings together researchers in surface flow observations, helioseismology analysis, dynamo modeling, and stellar convection theory to address four key science questions: 1. What drives varying large-scale plasma motions, e.g.meridional flow and differential rotation? 2. How do flows interact with the magnetic field to create varying solar activity cycles? 3. What causes active regions to emerge when and where they do during the solar cycle? 4. How is our understanding of solar activity informed by fields and flows on other stars?

To organize our efforts, COFFIES focuses on three pivotal science themes: The TACHOCLINE, a thin layer of rotational shear at the bottom of the convection zone, which potentially holds the key to connecting the dynamo field that operates on large temporal and spatial scales with medium-scale features such as active region complexes and evolving zonal flows. FLUX TRANSPORT & EMERGENCE throughout the convection zone that connects the deep interior dynamo with magnetic field and flow patterns observed at and near the surface. The NEAR-SURFACE SHEAR LAYER that filters and possibly creates many of the surface and near-surface convection and flux features we observe; but which is not well understood and whose role in the activity cycle is unclear. The team includes researchers from 14 institutions and intends to stimulate vital research regarding the nature and impacts of stellar activity cycles in the space-weather, heliophysics, planetary, and astrophysics communities. COFFIES welcomes external collaborations. We will energize STEM students and communicate the excitement of our science to the public. COFFIES is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility and to mentoring students, postdocs, and early career scientists. More information can be found at


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