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Hearing the Stars: New Insights into Stellar Interiors from Asteroseismology

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, April 3, 2017 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Lars Bildsten

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of California, Santa Barbara
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

Long-term and sensitive space-based photometry from the Kepler and CoRoT satellites has allowed us to finally 'hear' the stars. These remarkable data have yielded accurate measurements of masses, radii and distances for more than 30,000 stars across the Milky Way. More profoundly, these observations are revealing the interior conditions of the star, clearly differentiating those that are undergoing helium burning in their cores to those that are only burning hydrogen in a shell. Moreover, interior rotation rates for hundreds of post-main sequence stars have now been measured, probing the uncertain physics of angular momentum transport that is important to the progenitors of core collapse supernova. Most recently, the prevalence of red giants with very low dipolar oscillation amplitudes appears to be a consequence of strong magnetic fields deep in the helium cores of these red giants.