Saturday, February 9, 2019

New Insights About The Sun

It turns out that sound waves coursing through the Sun influence the pattern of magnetic activity from the Sun that is observed. As one investigator involved in the study explained:
Our evidence shows that the Sun's internal acoustic oscillations play a significant role in exciting the magnetic Alfvénic waves. This can give the waves different properties and suggests that they are more susceptible to an instability, which could lead to hotter and faster solar winds.
While the details of the internal workings of the Sun don't have all much of an impact on Earth, the solar winds that they influence can have some effect on Earth and a better understanding of the details of how the Sun works dynamically is important to our understanding of how stars work generally.

But for this discovery, if we saw something similar in another star, we might assume that it was due to some sort of new physics or something remarkable about that star, rather than from a failing to consider the acoustic properties of stars. It also gives astronomers a new property of stars to try to discern in observations of stars other than the Sun.

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