The Sun Shrinks and Grows Again by 2 Kilometres Every 11 Years and We Have No Idea Why
NEW JERSEY — July 30, 2018
Even in the height of the information age, we know very little about our own Sun in the grand scope of things. We think that it is quite an average star. But there are many different phenomena which that scientists and independent researchers really only begin to discover.
We already know about the Sun as a nuclear reactor, capable of producing plasma streams deep in outer space, “solar tornadoes” and solar flares.
Now, scientists have carried out a new study showed that the Sun is the center of our solar system and life itself, and it is growing. And shrinking, and growing again.
"Every 11 years, the sun’s radius oscillates by up to two kilometers, shrinking when its magnetic activity is high and expanding again as the activity decreases," the study said.
According to an article, recently published in the Astrophysical Journal, the Sun “grows” and “shrinks” in a cycle of 11 years, by a width of about 0.6-1.2 miles, or 1 to 2 kilometers. It’s like the Sun “breathes” and sort of wobbles in its size, which makes sense because it is a flaming ball of gas.
The extra width of the Sun at certain moments in this eleven-year cycle is equal to about 0.00029 percent of the Sun’s radius.
The University of Cote d’Azur and the New Jersey Institute of Technology teams observed this almost minute difference, in a similar fashion to other recent studies.
When they closely examined the streams of plasma, they noted that "the sonic frequencies put out by these plasma waves that roll across our Sun aren’t too much different from actual musical frequencies, observed and enjoyed by normal human ears."
"Say you’ve got a saxophone because you fancy some jazz. You play a note, the noise comes out, and all’s well. Now, if the tubing inside the saxophone suddenly expanded outwards, the pitch of that note would drop. Squeeze it all in, and the pitch would be higher. The Sun’s a bit like a magical saxophone in that sense. The frequencies of those waves change depending on how sizeable the Sun is, and this can be measured rather precisely by scientists on Earth. It wasn’t easy, though; after all it did take 21 years of observations using two separate NASA space telescopes to make this discovery," said one of the participants in the study.
This field of research is known by a strange name: helioseismology, which is essentially the equivalent of terrestrial seismology — its like listening to faults move or volcanic tremors — but in space.