Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Heartbeat of the Sun

One of the greatest opportunities in a research Institute is to get to listen to great Scientists. Here is the news article describing how a team of scientists studying Sun is extracting the information of the internal activities of the Sun. 
The studies of Sun using Visible or any other electromagnetic radiation is limited to the photosphere. Only Neutrinos produced in the nuclear reactions at the core of the Sun carry information about the layers inside Sun, to us. In what amounts to finding needle in the hey, the scientists have discovered a subtle ripple in the overall movement of the solar surface. The technique is to get the Fourier transform of the Fourier transform, thus giving an indication to the patterns in the frequency spectrum! It is like finding the octaves in the music of piano, and detecting the presence of piano in a grand symphony. The waves originate at the core of Sun because of gravitational disturbances. Rafael A. Garcia, DSM/DAPNIA/Service  d'Astrophysique, France explained this in a colloquium at our Indian Institute for Astrophysics.

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