Sounding stars and the search for new worlds---results from the NASA Kepler Mission

Astronomy Unit Seminars
Prof. William Chaplin (U. Birmingham)
Richard Nelson
November 1st, 2013 at 14:30
Queens EB2

We are in a golden era for stellar physics driven by new satellite and telescope observations of unprecedented quality and scope. Thanks in large part to the NASA Kepler Mission the past four years has seen dramatic progress in the study of other stellar systems in our galaxy.  Kepler has revolutionized the field of asteroseismology, the study of stars by observation of their natural oscillations. In this seminar I will discuss many aspects of this work, including asteroseismology of solar-type stars, in particular the characterisation and study of known exoplanet host stars, and the investigation of red-giant stars and stellar populations studies (which directly inform models of the evolution of the Galaxy). I will also touch briefly on what the future might hold for Kepler, following the recent failure of a second of its four reaction wheels; and also look to the exciting prospects for asteroseismology with the recently approved NASA TESS Mission, and further ahead to the candidate ESA PLATO mission.