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Astron. Astrophys. 338, 756-760 (1998)

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On the accuracy of helioseismic determination of solar helium abundance

O. Richard 1, 2, W.A. Dziembowski 2, 3, R. Sienkiewicz 2 and Philip R. Goode 4

1 Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Toulouse, 14 Avenue E. Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France
2 N. Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18, PL-00-716 Warszawa, Poland
3 Warsaw University Observatory, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, PL-00-478 Warszawa, Poland
4 Big Bear Solar Observatory, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Big Bear City CA 92314-9672, USA

Received 21 April 1998 / Accepted 10 July 1998


The Helium abundance in the solar envelope is one of the most important seismic observables. We investigate the accuracy of its determination taking into account uncertainties in the data and in the inversion procedure. Our best value for the helium abundance in the photosphere is [FORMULA]. The estimated uncertainty of 0.002 is dominated by uncertainties in the inversion. This does not account for possibly larger inaccuracies in the thermodynamical data.

Key words: Sun: oscillations – Sun: abundances

Send offprint requests to: O. Richard

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: September 14, 1998