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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Sounding Stars with Kepler (ASK)

PIRSES-GA-2010-269194 (call FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IRSES)

Principal investigator
Joanna Molenda-Żakowicz (Uniwersytet Wroclawski, Poland)

Researcher in charge at CAUP
Mário J. P. F. G. Monteiro

The NASA space mission Kepler is providing continuous high-precision photometry of thousands of stars, The aim of Kepler is the discovery of Earth-size planets around stars similar to the Sun, and a thorough study of the continuum of planetary systems in the Universe.

Because of their unprecedented precision, the Kepler data act as a precious source of information for various astrophysical studies, particularly asteroseismology, which is a rapidly growing field allowing to study the interiors of stars by measuring their oscillations in a way analogous to that used by geologists who study the interior of the Earth by means seismic methods.

The scope of this proposal which, involves 13 partner institutions - 7 from EU and 6 from third countries, is to ensure a complete and exhaustive exploitation of the Kepler data. We plan to accelerate and facilitate the process of deriving information about the Kepler targets, and hence of the planetary systems discovered in this mission. To achieve this, we will work on dedicated pipelines for the data analysis, optimize tools for computing models of stars and the physical processes inside them, and enable multi-site observational campaigns dedicated to Kepler targets which will yield crucial information complementary to that delivered by the Kepler mission. Our cooperation will allow to develop various methods of the data analysis and model computations which will be beneficial for the general astrophysical community.

Our aims can be achieved only by an intense, organized cooperation and exchange of the scientists from Institutes involved in the research focused on Kepler science. This approach can be considered as a role model for organizing coordinated effort focused on maximizing the scientific outcome of the analysis of the data produced by space missions. These procedures are particularly relevant for the potential upcoming PLATO mission under selection by the European Space Agency.

Institutions involved in the project:
- Uniwersytet Wroclawski (UWr)
- Aarhus Universitet (AU)
- MTA Konkoly Thege Miklos Csillagaszati Kutatointezet (MTA KTM CSKI)
- Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF-OACt)
- Centro de Astrofisica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP)
- Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC)
- Commissariat a l Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA)
- The University of Sydney (SIfA)
- The Regents of New Mexico State University (NMSU)
- Los Alamos National Security LLC (LANL)
- Yale University (Yale)
- University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Nonprofit Corporation (NCAR)
- Smithsonian Institution (CfA)

Funding institution
European Commission

Start: 1 May 2011
End: 31 December 2015

European Union  Seventh Framework Programme  Marie Curie Actions

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

Proceed on CAUP's website|Go to IA website