Asteroseismology: A New Keplerian Revolution



Professor Donald Kurtz

Jeremiah Horrocks Institute
University of Central Lancashire, UK

Thursday, 30 January, 2020

4pm-5pm, INB3305

In 1926 in the opening paragraph of his now-classic book, The Internal Constitution of the Stars, Sir Arthur Eddington lamented, “What appliance can pierce through the outer layers of a star and test the conditions within?” While he considered theory to be the proper answer to that question, there is now an observational answer: asteroseismology. We are in a time of a significant advance in our understanding of stellar astrophysics with data from the Kepler and TESS Space Missions. These have improved our ability to see pulsations and variability in stars by 100 to 1000 times compared with ground-based telescopes, allowing us to probe stars using asteroseismology. We are seeing as never before: heartbeat stars, the new tidally enhanced pulsators, novel eclipsing stars, spots, flares and magnetic cycles as in our own Sun. Astrophysics that used to be theoretical is now also observational: internal stellar rotation from core to surface; gravitational lensing in eclipsing binary stars; Doppler boosting; multiple pulsation axes; period doubling; tidal excitation in highly eccentric binary stars. Kepler and TESS data for solar-like stars are now comparable to data for the Sun seen as a star, giving us masses, radii and ages for thousands of single stars, allowing determination of their orbiting planets’ sizes, and giving new constraints on stellar evolution theory. It is now even possible to see into the cores of red giants and observe which stars are hydrogen shell-burning and which also are helium-core burning. This talk will introduce the concepts of asteroseismology and show a selection of exciting observational results from the Kepler and TESS missions.

1st Annual Edmund Weaver Lecture

Today, 11 October 2017, Phil Sutton delivered an illuminating public lecture on the Cassini mission to Saturn. That was the first lecture in a new lecture series of Annual Edmund Weaver Lectures in Astronomy. Before the lecture Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky  introduced new lecture series and explained briefly who was mysterious Edmund Weaver. The talk by Phil attracted lots of questions from the audience and sparkled a lovely discussion with the speaker after the lecture.

Opening words by Prof Andrei Zvelindovsky:

Reload the page to see a different arrangement:

Astrophysicist brings findings from far-away planets to Lincoln

Maths & Physics News

by Laura Jones – PR Officer

As one of the most scientifically rich voyages ever undertaken in our solar system reaches its dramatic conclusion, an astrophysicist who examines data from NASA’s pioneering Cassini mission joins the University of Lincoln, UK, to establish an exciting new specialism in space, planets and moon formation.

Dr Phil Sutton’s work focusses on the scientific study of the rings around Saturn – the second largest planet in our solar system.

His research uses optical images sent back to Earth from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which is currently orbiting Saturn after almost 20 years in space. Cassini is now embarking on the final chapter of its remarkable exploration – labelled its ‘Grand Finale’.

Cassini was launched in 1997, took seven years to travel to Saturn, and has spent the last 13 years orbiting the planet. Throughout its journey, Cassini has sent an extensive catalogue of invaluable…

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