Search for solar cycle signature of rapid variation in BiSON data

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The second helium ionization zone and the base of the convective envelope are regions of rapid variation of solar structure which introduce characteristic signatures into the frequencies of p-mode oscillations. These signals provide a direct seismological method to probe the acoustic properties of these regions. In this work we isolate these signatures in over 9 yr of low-degree BiSON data and extract information on the acoustic depth and local properties from each signal. Any temporal variations are investigated by fitting the signals extracted from 432, 864 and 1728-d spectra. The extracted parameters are found to be in agreement over the different length spectra and within one formal standard deviation of the values obtained for model 'S'. There is no evidence found for any systematic variation in the acoustic depth, width or magnitude of the second helium ionization zone, which suggests any activity-dependent disturbance to the near surface layers does not propagate down to this layer. The convection zone signal does show some temporal variation that may be correlated with solar activity, although further analysis with current data is required. The isolation of these signatures in low-degree data confirms that this method can be used to provide structural information on Sun-like stars once similar asteroseismic data become available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004


  • sun : interior
  • sun : oscillations


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