Testing the constancy of the gravitational constant using helioseismology

D. B. Guenther, L. M. Krauss, P. Demarque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


We compare the p-mode oscillation spectra of solar models, constructed under the assumption that the universal gravitation constant G varied monotonically over the course of the solar lifetime, to the most recent solar p-mode frequency observations from the Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) instrument and Birmingham Solar Oscillation Network (BiSON). The GONG instrument consists of six telescopes spread over different longitude around the Earth, each recording, once every minute, Doppler shift images of the Sun's surface. BiSON also consists of a network of six telescopes specifically designed to observe low-l p-modes. We find that only those solar models constructed with (1/G)dG/dt ≤ ∼1.6 × 10-12 yr-1 are consistent with the observations. This constraint not only probes G over cosmic time, it is stronger by almost one order of magnitude than constraints on the current maximum time variation coming from radar ranging and binary pulsar timing measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-876
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART I
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Gravitation
  • Sun: Evolution
  • Sun: Oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Testing the constancy of the gravitational constant using helioseismology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this