Most people are familiar with the fact that sensitive instruments known as seismographs can detect earthquakes taking place many hundreds or thousands of miles away. By studying the waves from these tremors, scientists can find out about the conditions deep inside our rocky planet.
In the same way, astronomers are now able to measure millions of sound waves that propagate throughout the Sun, causing it to vibrate or ring like a bell. This technique, known as helioseismology, is the solar equivalent of terrestrial seismology.
On Monday 7 April, Dr. John Leibacher (U.S. National Solar Observatory) will highlight recent results from helioseismology studies during a presentation to the UK/Ireland Solar Physics Meeting in Dublin. These will include new views of the rapidly changing “sub-surface solar weather” and the far side of the Sun, as well as prospects for seeing finer and deeper details within the Sun and other stars.
“Unimaginable 25 years ago, helioseismology today allows us to ‘see’ into the otherwise invisible interior of the Sun,” said Dr. Leibacher. “This has enabled us to overthrow some theories, corroborate others, and pose many more new questions as we finally get a glimpse of how things work.
Dr. John Leibacher | alfa
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