Site Map
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter YouTube channel Follow us on Google+

Structural Glitches near the Cores of Red Giants Revealed by Oscillations in g-mode Period Spacings from Stellar Models

M. S. Cunha, D. Stello, P. P. Avelino, J. Christensen-Dalsgaard, R. H. D. Townsend

With recent advances in asteroseismology it is now possible to peer into the cores of red giants, potentially providing a way to study processes such as nuclear burning and mixing through their imprint as sharp structural variations—glitches—in the stellar cores. Here we show how such core glitches can affect the oscillations we observe in red giants. We derive an analytical expression describing the expected frequency pattern in the presence of a glitch. This formulation also accounts for the coupling between acoustic and gravity waves. From an extensive set of canonical stellar models we find glitch-induced variation in the period spacing and inertia of non-radial modes during several phases of red giant evolution. Significant changes are seen in the appearance of mode amplitude and frequency patterns in asteroseismic diagrams such as the power spectrum and the échelle diagram. Interestingly, along the red giant branch glitch-induced variation occurs only at the luminosity bump, potentially providing a direct seismic indicator of stars in that particular evolution stage. Similarly, we find the variation at only certain post-helium-ignition evolution stages, namely, in the early phases of helium core burning and at the beginning of helium shell burning, signifying the asymptotic giant branch bump. Based on our results, we note that assuming stars to be glitch-free, while they are not, can result in an incorrect estimate of the period spacing. We further note that including diffusion and mixing beyond classical Schwarzschild could affect the characteristics of the glitches, potentially providing a way to study these physical processes.

stars: evolution, stars: interiors, stars: oscillations

The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 805, Page 127
June 2015

>> PDF>> ADS>> DOI

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