Helioseismology studies the wave oscillations in the Sun, similar
to the study of seismic waves on Earth.
These (acoustic) waves are affected by the physical
conditions (density and temperature) and deep turbulent motions
inside the Sun.
The Sun acts like a resonant cavity with
standing wave structures. These wave motions can be
observed at the solar surface. Scientists study the
observed wave patterns at the surface in order to understand
the Sun's interior.
We can see similar waves in other stars, allowing us to learn about their interiors too.
60 foot solar tower at Mt. Wilson Observatory
where pionering work on helioseismology was
started in the early 1960's
Click on image for full size (26K JPEG)
Image courtesy ofUniversity of Southern
California, 60 Foot Solar Tower at Mt. Wilson Observatory.
A computer-generated image of an
resonating in the interior of the Sun.
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