REVISING THE BIOGRAPHY OF THE SUN: From Ultrasound of Stellar Embryos to Cardiology of Red Giants
Monday, 21 November 2016 1 p.m. — 2 p.m. MST
AURA Lecture Hall
Last time I was at CTIO, I summarised a decade of exoplanetary science with Canada's MOST space telescope. This time, I'll summarise a decade of MOST science that encompasses 10 billion years of the solar main sequence lifetime, all hopefully in less than 3 trillion nanoseconds.
The "Space Photometry Revolution" was pioneered by MOST and fought by CoRoT, Kepler and K2, soon by TESS and CHEOPS, and eventually by PLATO. Ultraprecise photometry from space has transformed our understanding of exoplanets, but also of stars, thanks to ultraprecise asteroseismology - translating surface vibrations into interior structure and evolutionary phase.
Some of the most exciting advances have occurred at the extreme ends of the life story of a solar-type star: birth and death. For the first chapter of the story, MOST has found Rosetta Stone PMS (Pre-Main Sequence) stars for which asteroseismology is possible. MOST, together with CoRoT, Spitzer and Chandra, probed a rich stellar nursery, NGC 2264, and performed a version of 'ultrasound' on stellar embryos. We've tested successfully some of the predictions of PMS evolutionary theory. For the closing chapter, MOST opened the field of red giant seismology. The star of this story is epsilon Ophiuchi, a bright star which can be studied in depth, unlike the large samples of CoRoT and Kepler pulsating red giants, which are too faint for individual follow-up studies.