J o h n  L e i b a c h e r
National Solar Observatory, Tucson, Arizona

One of the problems with the Sun is that it goes down every night. [You do know that it doesn't really "go down" in the west, but the Earth is turning to the East, right??] This is a real nuisance when we are trying to observe the Sun's seismic waves which go on and on and on and on ... - just imagine trying to listen to your favorite music if the sound kept going and off every second or two! Soooooooooooo, we - this time with a LOT of friends - built network of six stations around the world, and the Sun almost never goes down on the GONG show (GONG stands for the" Global Oscillation Network Group", but it was tough figuring out the words to go with the acronym

It took 10 years to build GONG, and hundreds of people were involved in making it happen. It was really great travelling around our planet setting up the sites - we surveyed 15 potential sites in exotic places like Marrakesh (Morrocco), Urumchi (Western China), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) - and I got to meet LOTS of really neat people. The really terrific thing about GONG is that a tremendous number of people are using the observations of the Sun now to discover new things about the Universe, which is of course why we built it in the first place!!

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