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Music of the Sun

The Story of Helioseismology

Four hundred years after Kepler discovered his third law of planetary motion, disproving the Pythagorean notion of ‘the music of the spheres’, music was discovered in the Sun.

With this discovery the science of helioseismology was born. Just as we can see the face of a foetus in the womb via ultrasound, and as bats can ‘see’ their way around using sonar, helioseismologists can now see inside the depths of the sun simply by listening to it.

In The Music of the Sun, renowned helioseismologist William Chaplin tells the story of this discipline’s origins and gives us invaluable insight into its implications – not only for better understanding the distant sun and stars – but for cosmology, particle physics, and the very relationship between the Sun and the Earth.

"An excellent introduction. Recommended for solar physicists and laypersons"

– Choice

"Chapling unfolds a fascinating story. His account is both readable to the layman and informative for the expert, without ever compromising scientific accuracy."

– Douglas Gough - Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

"In this beautifully written narrative, Chaplin shares the exciting story of the development of this revolutionary science and the new knowledge of the universe that it offers."

– John Leibacher - Insitut D'Astrophysique Spatiale, University of Paris

"This is a human story told in the voice of those who made the discoveries in this new and exciting field of astronomy."

– Jack Harvey - Chair of NSO/ KP and co-editor of journal of solar physics

"This is a valuable record of the development of one of the most important research areas in astronomy in general, and solar science in particular."

– Robert Noyes - Havard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics