The Sun may be much smaller than we previously thought. Two scientists say the central star of our solar system has not been measured correctly.
Masao Takata of the University of Tokyo and Douglas Goff of the University of Cambridge are two astrophysicists who say the Sun is smaller than previously thought. According to them, the radius of our central star is several hundredths smaller. This may not seem like a lot, but it’s no small feat. First of all, it could greatly affect the understanding of this glowing ball to which we owe our life on Earth.
The sun may be smaller than we thought
The new results are based on sound waves generated by hot plasma inside the sun. Like abdominal growling, these resonant sounds indicate changes in pressure. These oscillations allow a more solid image of the star’s interior to be obtained.
You should know that the vibration of the sun’s surface comes from sound waves and gravitational waves. The latter are divided into g waves (closer to the nucleus) and f waves (closer to the surface). Previous research relied on f-waves, but according to scientists, it would be better to use sound waves.
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Instead of using visible light or thermal calculations, according to Takta and Goff, the solar radius should be based on seismic measurements. The result is that the central star is (maybe not by much, but still) smaller. But it doesn’t matter how big the difference is. Most importantly, it sheds new light on our understanding of the Sun and allows for more precise measurements of stars in the future.
Wojciech Kulik, journalist at Wirtualna Polska
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