Fifth Annual Workshop of the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium
The Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium (KASC) held its fifth annual workshop., hosted by Konkoly Observatory on June 18-22, 2012, in Balatonalmádi, Hungary. One hundred twenty scientists from over 20 countries attended the event, to discuss stellar astrophysics using Kepler data. Many results were shared on the solar-like oscillations of main sequence and red giant stars in addition to the synergies with exoplanet research.
Here are a few highlights:
- Recent studies of oscillations in red giant stars distinguish the rotation rate of the stellar core and stellar envelope, giving a detailed look at the internal structure and aspects of evolution of these these older stars. Surprisingly, the largest of eclipsing triple star HD 181068 turns out to be the only known red giant that doesn't show Sun-like oscillation.
- RR Lyrae stars show a huge variety of behaviors in Kepler data, indicative of complex chaotic systems. It only takes three different pulsation modes to create complicated light variations and interactions. We hope that with the help of Kepler the final explanation of one of the greatest puzzles of pulsation theory will be found in the near future.
- A powerful new method for finding planetary and stellar companions around pulsating stars includes finding stellar mass, projected orbital distance and the radial velocity curve without spectroscopic observations.
- M giants represent the late evolutionary stages of Sun-like stars. The timescales of their brightness variations are typically on the order of 100 days. Their pulsations are closely linked to mass-loss, a process that is still lacking a deep understanding. Careful analyses of M giant pulsations will help us pinpoint the connection between oscillations, mass-loss and evolution, which, ultimately, will deliver new insight into the future of our own sun. Current Kepler data on M giants are just beginning to scratch the surface, but we expect tremendous improvement with the data promised by the Kepler Extended Mission.
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