A seismic model of the sun's interior

W. A. Dziembowski, Philip R. Goode, A. A. Pamyatnykh, R. Sienkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


We advance the method of frequency inversion revealing a more accurate seismic sounding of the solar core. We show that with the quoted observational errors, it is possible to achieve a precision of ∼10-3 in the sound speed determination through most of the sun's interior. Only for r < 0.05 R is the precision ∼10-2. The accuracy of the density and pressure determinations is only slightly worse. Such restrictions impose significant constraints on the microscopic physical data, i.e., opacities, nuclear-reaction cross sections, and diffusion coefficients, as well as on the solar age. The helioseismic age is consistent with that from meteorites. The currently available data for low-degree p-mode frequencies exhibit a scatter that is larger than the quoted errors, and therefore the actual precision of seismic inferences is less than what we report, especially for the solar core. We invert p-mode data to obtain a solar seismic model. Comparison of the solar seismic model with current theoretical models shows a need for some refinements within the framework of the standard solar model. Only in the innermost part of the core (r < 0.05 R) do we see a feature in the seismic sound speed that cannot easily be accounted for by refinements of the model. But the reality of the feature is by no means certain. We find no evidence supporting an astrophysical solution to the solar neutrino problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-426
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Elementary particles
  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • Sun: interior
  • Sun: oscillations


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