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Graphics for 2010 Oct 26 webcast

Images from the Kepler Asteroseismology Science Consortium (KASC) webcast of 2010 Oct 26.

Figure 1
NASA's Kepler spacecraft, launched in March 2009
NASA's Kepler spacecraft, launched in March 2009, is designed to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. In the process it is capturing large quantities of data on the target stars which is used not only to search for planets but also to study stars in general. The results from NASA's Kepler spacecraft provide us with new information on a number of specific phenomena related to our fundamental knowledge of stars, their internal properties and evolution in time.
Figure 2
Kepler field of view
Kepler field of view in the Cygnus/Lyra region of the sky.
Figure 3
The variations in brightness can be interpreted as vibrations, or oscillations within the stars, using a technique called asteroseismology.
The variations in brightness can be interpreted as vibrations, or oscillations within the stars, using a technique called asteroseismology. The oscillations reveal information about the internal structure of the stars, in much the same way that seismologists use earthquakes to probe the Earth's interior.
Figure 4
The stars and their light variation studied by Kepler.
The stars and their light variation studied by Kepler.
Figure 5
Kepler can make precise measurements of the radius and age for individual stars.
Kepler can make precise measurements of the radius and age for individual stars.
Figure 6
KIC 11026764 - one of the most accurately characterized stars in the Universe!
KIC 11026764 - one of the most accurately characterized stars in the Universe! Using asteroseismology the scientists have determined very accurate values for the radius and age of a star (KIC 11026764) which is more evolved than our Sun. This measurement represents the most accurate determinations of basic stellar properties made for any star in the Kepler field of view, and properties of only a few other stars in the whole Universe are known to similar accuracy. The specific periods for the oscillations detected in KIC 11026764 show that the star shines from hydrogen fusion in a region around a helium-rich core.
Figure 7
Size of Red Giant stars.
Size of Red Giant stars. Using the Kepler telescope we have detected oscillations in more than 1000 giant stars at a precision never obtained before for such a large set of data. The periods of those oscillations are used to study the interiors of these giant stars, which represent the future life of our Sun.
Figure 8
Observed oscillations in Red giant stars
Observed oscillations in Red giant stars
Figure 9
Stellar evolution
Stellar evolution
Figure 10
Core Helium fusion stars: the distant future of our Sun
Core Helium fusion stars: the distant future of our Sun.
Figure 11
RR Lyrae stars: Cosmic light houses. Those stars are used to measure distances in the universe.
RR Lyrae stars: Cosmic light houses. Those stars are used to measure distances in the universe.
Figure 12
Kepler data (brightness versus time) for two RR Lyrae stars.
Kepler data (brightness versus time) for two RR Lyrae stars. While many of these stars pulsate regularly, such as the star on the left, a large fraction of RR Lyrae stars shows a long-term modulation of their light curve shape, with a period of typically tens to hundreds of days. With the Kepler data we first detected a new type of variability in the prototype of the class, the so-called period doubling.
Figure 13
A comparison of one of the most accurate sets of ground-based data, gathered from different observatories, and the Kepler data.
A comparison of one of the most accurate sets of ground-based data, gathered from different observatories, and the Kepler data. It is striking that only a few months of uninterrupted Kepler data of the star RR Lyrae uncover phenomena that were never detected before, not even with a century of high-quality ground-based data meticulously investigated by numerous astronomers. These findings have caused a dramatic overhaul in our understanding of these cosmic light houses.
Figure 14
This animation shows the extreme variations of RRLyrae‘s light curve shape (one pulsation lasts 13.5 hours) over the Blazhko cycle (39 days).
(Animation made by Radek Smolec) This animation shows the extreme variations of RRLyrae‘s light curve shape (one pulsation lasts 13.5 hours) over the Blazhko cycle (39 days).

Originals of all images are at http://www.au.dk/presse/nasa/nasa2