University of Warwick
Natural Sciences (Astrophysics and Astrononmy)
Helioseismology uses the Sun’s natural oscillations to probe beneath the surface of the Sun. Over the past several decades helioseismology has proven extremely successful at providing insights into the interior of the Sun: We have learnt about the structure of the solar interior, including the depth of the convection zone, we have learnt about the composition of the Sun, and we have learnt about rotation and other internal flows. I will review our current understanding of the solar interior based upon helioseismic results, and describe how the Sun’s interior varies over timescales commensurate with the solar cycle. For example, although it is difficult to detect solar-cycle related structural changes in the deep interior, variations in rotation have been observed in the form of the torsional oscillation. I will also discuss some of the remaining challenges for helioseismologists to address, including the search for internal gravity modes, whose detection would substantially advance our ability to infer properties of the structure and dynamics of the deep solar core.
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