Sounding stellar cores with mixed modes [SSA]

The space-borne missions CoRoT and Kepler have opened a new era in stellar physics, especially for evolved stars, with precise asteroseismic measurements that help determine precise stellar parameters and perform ensemble astero seismology. This paper deals with the quality of the information that we can retrieve from the oscillations. It focusses on the conditions for obtaining the most accurate measurement of the radial and non-radial oscillation patterns. This accuracy is a prerequisite for making the best with asteroseismic data. From radial modes, we derive proxies of the stellar mass and radii with an unprecedented accuracy for field stars. For dozens of subgiants and thousands of red giants, the identification of mixed modes (corresponding to gravity waves propagating in the core coupled to pressure waves propagating in the envelope) indicates unambiguously their evolutionary status. As probes of the stellar core, these mixed modes also reveal the internal differential rotation and show the spinning down of the core rotation of stars ascending the red giant branch. A toy model of the coupling of waves constructing mixed modes is exposed, for illustrating many of their features.

Read this paper on arXiv…

Date added: Fri, 18 Oct 13