Scientific Correspondence

Nature 393, 317-318 (28 May 1998) | doi:10.1038/30629

X-ray flare sparks quake inside Sun

A. G. Kosovichev1 & V. V. Zharkova2

Solar flares involve a release of the Sun's magnetic energy as X-radiation, particle beams and high-speed plasma flows. But we have discovered, using data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), that these flares also affect the Sun's interior, generating seismic waves similar to earthquakes. For example, a three-kilometre-high seismic wave was caused by a moderate X-ray flare that occurred on 9 July 1996 and propagated at about 50 kilometres per second to a distance 120,000 kilometres from the flare site.

  1. W. W. Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-4085, USA
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Glasgow University, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK