The project aims at a breakthrough in our understanding of stellar evolution, by combining advanced observations of stellar oscillations with state-of-the-art modelling of stars. This will largely be based on very extensive and precise data on stellar oscillations from the NASA Kepler mission launched in March 2009, but additional high-quality data will also be included. In particular, my group is developing the global SONG network for observations of stellar oscillations. These observational efforts will be supplemented by sophisticated modelling of stellar evolution, and by the development of asteroseismic tools to use the observations to probe stellar interiors. This will lead to a far more reliable determination of stellar ages, and hence ages of other astrophysical objects; it will compare the properties of the Sun with other stars and hence provide an understanding of the life history of the Sun; it will investigate the physical processes that control stellar properties, both at the level of the thermodynamical properties of stellar plasmas and the hydrodynamical instabilities that play a central role in stellar evolution; and it will characterize central stars in extra-solar planetary systems, determining the size and age of the star and hence constrain the evolution of the planetary systems. The Kepler data will be analysed in a large international collaboration coordinated by our group. The SONG network, which will become partially operational during the present project, will yield even detailed information about the conditions in the interior of stars, allowing tests of subtle but central aspects of the physics of stellar interiors. The projects involve the organization of a central data archive for asteroseismic data, at the Royal Library, Copenhagen.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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