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NASA Ames Research Center


Kepler data is contributing to the field of Asteroseismology - study of star oscillations

Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium Fifth Workshop
Extending the Kepler Mission
New Horizons in Asteroseismology

2012 June 18-22.

The continuous monitoring of thousands of stars to a very high degree of precision brings about scientific possibilities apart from planet-finding. One of these is the study of stellar oscillations, or "starquakes", which show up as small, periodic variations in the brightness of the stars and which can be used for studying their inner structure - much in the same way as earthquakes are used for studying the inner structure of the Earth. This branch of science is therefore called asteroseismology. With asteroseismology, stellar masses and radii can be determined to a much higher precision than with any other method. Asteroseismology is use for characterizing the brighter host stars of the planets discovered with Kepler.

The Kepler Asteroseismic Investigation is organized at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Aarhus, Denmark, which hosts the Danish AsteroSeismology Centre (DASC). One of the Centre's scientists, Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard, in particular has led research on solar and stellar structure and oscillations, with particular emphasis of the application of oscillation observations to helioseismology and asteroseismology.

For details on asteroseismology and how Kepler data will be used for
detailed studies of the inner structure of stars, see the
Danish AsteroSeismology Centre website.