Mystifying Magnetic Surface

P-modes : Birth (oooo.....) and Death (aaawww.....)

The Sun rings like a bell.

Where does all the sound come from?

The sound waves in the Sun come from all the rumblings in the convection layer, just below the solar suface. They bounce around inside the Sun, taking about two hours to travel from one side of the Sun to the other. The frequencies are too low for our ears to hear. If we could hear them there would be lots of different natural frequencies, harmonics, at the same time, not a 'pure' note.

Changing voices of P-modes

We call the solar oscillations near the surface P-modes. Here is a picture showing calculations of the patterns formed by different P-modes on the solar surface. Blue and red means large motions in opposite directions. Yellow is where the surface isn't moving, called `nodes'.

Courtesy of the Solar Center at Stanford

Sunspots that eat a lot ! (mmmmmmmm...........)

Sunspots absorb and scatter the sound waves. This snapshot of data from SOHO has dark regions where the sound waves are being gobbled up.

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