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Helioseismology and the solar age
W.A. Dziembowski 1,2,
G. Fiorentini 3,4,
B. Ricci 3,4 and
R. Sienkiewicz 2
Received 5 October 1998 / Accepted 21 December 1998
The problem of measuring the solar age by means of helioseismology has been recently revisited by Guenther & Demarque (1997) and by Weiss & Schlattl (1998). Different best values for and different assessment of the uncertainty resulted from these two works. We show that depending on the way seismic data are used, one may obtain Gy close to the age of the oldest meteorites, Gy, like in the first paper, or above 5 Gy like in the second paper. The discrepancy in the seismic estimates of the solar age may be eliminated by assuming higher than the standard metal abundance and/or an upward revision of the opacities in the solar radiative interior.
We argue that the most accurate and robust seismic measure of the solar age are the small frequency separations, , for spherical harmonic degrees and radial orders . The seismic age inferred by minimization of the sum of squared differences between the model and the solar small separations is Gy, a number consistent with meteoritic data. Our analysis supports earlier suggestions of using small frequency separations as stellar age indicators.
Key words: Sun: abundances Sun: evolution Sun: interior Sun: oscillations
Send offprint requests to: W.A. Dziembowski
Online publication: March 1, 1999