Evidence That Solar Flares Drive Global Oscillations in the Sun
Publication date: 01 May 2008
Journal: The Astrophysical Journal
Copyright: The American Astronomical SocietySolar flares are large explosions on the Sun's surface caused by a sudden release of magnetic energy. They are known to cause local short-lived oscillations traveling away from the explosion like water rings. Here we show that the energy in the solar acoustic spectrum is correlated with flares. This means that the flares drive global oscillations in the Sun in the same way that the entire Earth is set ringing for several weeks after a major earthquake such as the 2004 December Sumatra-Andaman one. The correlation between flares and energy in the acoustic spectrum of disk-integrated sunlight is stronger for high-frequency waves than for ordinary p-modes which are excited by the turbulence in the near-surface convection zone immediately beneath the photosphere.