The dark side of the sun

 
Published: Thursday 15 June 2000

Our knowledge of the Sun is limited by the fact that direct observations from the Earth are limited to the near side of our nearest star. The sun rotates and eventually all sides come into view, yet, remote imaging of the far side would be of immense use for understanding the solar interior as well as forecasting of solar flares and solar wind ejection. Now a team of scientists has used observations from the soho spacecraft to image the structure of the far side of the sun. They employed heliosiesmic holography to detect reflected acoustic waves from the far side. Now, solar physicists can use this technique to study the evolution of solar phenomenon by observing the sound waves as they travel through the interior of the sun ( Science , Vol 287, p1799).

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