Thursday, July 25, 2024

The sun may not be as big as we think

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According to the new results currently being reviewed, the radius of our Sun will be slightly smaller than previously thought

It may not seem like much, but it will make a noticeable difference in how scientists study and understand our star. The results of the study depend on Sound waves (P waves) They are generated and trapped within the Sun’s hot plasma. According to astrophysicists Masao Takata of the University of Tokyo and Douglas Goff of the University of Cambridge, P-wave oscillations allow for “greater dynamism.” solidFrom the interior of the sun compared to other oscillating sound waves.

Study of P waves

Just as seismologists study how seismic waves travel through the Earth’s interior to study its structure, physicists use solar energy Solar seismology To discover the inner structure of the Sun, we have to imagine the Sun as a ringing bell, or rather as a bell that is constantly rung by small grains of sand. All this produces seismic noise Millions of oscillating sound wavesDifferent from each other, scientists can measure them here from Earth. We know different types of waves: G waves, which oscillate up and down under the influence of the force of gravity, and F waves, which occur near the surface: but which one do we choose for measurements?

Sun and Earth. credit: Massimiliano Vicini

Change necessary?

The traditional reference model for the Sun’s seismic radiation is based on F waves, where they were first discovered and used. But according to some astronomers, it is not entirely reliable because it does not extend to the edge of the Sun’s photosphere. P waves, on the other hand, go further, because they are less susceptible to magnetic fields and turbulence in the Sun’s upper boundary layer. The convection zone of the Sun, and their calculations using only P wave frequencies indicate this The radius of the solar photosphere is slightly smaller (a few percentage points) than the standard solar model. This does not mean any kind of fundamental difference on the practical and structural level of the Sun; No matter how small the error, changing the traditional model to accommodate such results will not be easy.

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