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No. 31: Jan-Feb 1984

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The Sun As A Scientific Instrument

In connection with the preceding item on solar oscillations and asymmetry, a few brave astrophysicists are now proposing that one mode of solar oscillation (the 160-minute period) is really a manifestation of the sun "ringing" in response to gravity waves sweeping through it! A nearby binary star, Geminga, has a period of this length. It seems that the 160-minute oscillation of the sun is far too long to be a solar pressure wave, and external forces could conceivably be involved. This article also mentions "the throbbing earth" reported in SF#30, an effect which may result from gravitational waves emanating from the center of our galaxy.

(Walgate, Robert; "Gravitational Waves on the Sun?" Nature, 305:665, 1983.)

From Science Frontiers #31, JAN-FEB 1984. � 1984-2000 William R. Corliss