Researchers study the internal structure of distant stars by their pulsations
At first glance, it seems impossible to look inside the star. However, the international team of astronomers, led by Earl Bellinger of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany, first received data on the internal structure of two stars, based on their oscillations. Our Sun, like most other stars, experiences pulsations that propagate in the bowels of the star like sound waves. The frequencies of these waves modify the light emitted by the star, and can subsequently be extracted from the light flux recorded by astronomers on Earth. Just as seismologists identify the internal structure of a planet, analyzing earthquakes, astronomers determine the properties of stars by their pulsations - and this area of science is called astroseismology. In the new work, Bellinger and his team analyzed using the methods of astroseismology the internal structure of the two stars of the 16 Cygnus system - 16 Cygnus A and 16 Cygnus B - very similar to our Sun.