Asteroseismology shakes up theory of stellar evolution

Friday, 22 July, 2016
What is the lifespan of a sun-like star? Well, it may not be quite what we thought. The outcomes of EU-funded asteroseismology research conducted by Professor Conny Aerts and her team show that the cores of red giants don't spin nearly as fast as expected - and this, in turn, means that our understanding of the future of our sun was flawed.

“Asteroseismology is the study of starquakes. It is very similar to the study of earthquakes, in the sense that we use the same methods to get information on the interior of a star, rather than about the interior of our planet,” says Conny Aerts of the Belgian university KU Leuven. In the PROSPERITY project, which was backed by the European Research Council (ERC), she used this technique to check aspects of the theory of stellar evolution, and delivered new insights on the secret life of stars.

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Project Acronym: 
Probing Stellar Physics and Te