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Diagnostics for the Solar Interior - Windows to the Universe

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A velocity map of the sun surface acoustic waves: red regions represent inward motions while blue regions show outward motions
Mount Wilson Observatory

Diagnostics for the Solar Interior

The Sun, as well as other stars, releases energy in the form of radiation and particles.

The processes that produce this energy are taking place in the interior of the Sun, where direct observations are not possible. However by means of indirect methods it is possible to determine what the nature of this energy source is likely to be.

Two of the most important diagnostics for the solar interior are neutrino detection and the analysis of the sound (compressional) waves that propagate through the Sun ( Helioseismology). Neutrinos are produced in the nuclear reactions that take place in the core of the Sun.

From this information, it is possible to formulate theories about the life cycle of the Sun and of stars in general.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF