Shop Windows to the Universe

Earth Science Rocks! Select one of our four cool NESTA t-shirts from our online store, and express your love of Earth and space science!
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.


Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Cool It! is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Neutrino detectors

Neutrino interactions with matter are extremely rare, making detection difficult. Neutrino detectors are typically large tanks filled with a fluid that reacts to the passage of neutrinos. To take advantage...more

Fusion Inside the Stars

Fusion in the core of the stars is achieved when the density and temperature arising from the gravitational pressure are high enough. There are different fusion cycles that occur in different phases of...more

The Solar Interior

To understand how our Sun works, it helps to imagine that the interior of the Sun is made up of different layers, one inside the other. The innermost layer, the solar core, is the region where the energy...more

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...more

IMF

IMF stands for Interplanetary Magnetic Field. It is another name for the Sun's magnetic field. The Sun's magnetic field is enormous and is carried by the solar wind. The solar wind and magnetic field are...more

The Hydrogen Fusion Process

The basic Hydrogen fusion cycle involves four Hydrogen nuclei (protons) and two electrons and yields a Helium nucleus, two neutrinos and six photons. This process occurs in three steps: the first one is...more

The Neutron Capture Process

Neutron capture can occur when a neutron approaches a nucleus close enough for nuclear forces to be effective. The neutron is captured and forms a heavier isotope of the capturing element. When the new...more

The Supernova

A Supernova is a very massive star that explodes at the end of its life cycle. The supernova is the furnace where the heavy elements (heavier than iron) are formed by neutron capture. ...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA