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European Week of Astronomy and Space Science Meeting News and Video

What is asteroseismology?

23 Apr 2009, 14:20 UTC
What is asteroseismology?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Asteroseismology is the study of stellar interiors; a probe of the different modes of oscillations within their interiors that can be used to study the extent of a stellar core, convection, rotation, chemical composition and so on. It's a bit like how geologists use the propagation of seismic waves through the Earth to learn about the structure of our planet. In her plenary session this morning Conny Aerts (Leuven, Belgium) said that in order to improve evolutionary models of stars, asteroseismology is crucial. She said that if stellar evolution models were correct, then some new exoplanets found around red giant stars, for example, should not exist, and that there was therefore still a lot of new science to be done in this exciting area of research.

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