RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Thursday, 31 March 2016, 11:00-12:00; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Tim Bedding

"A Golden Age of Asteroseismology with Kepler"

Stellar astrophysics has entered a new golden age, thanks to wonderfully precise measurements being returned by NASA’s Kepler mission. Kepler is a 0.9-metre space telescope that has been monitoring the brightness of more than 100,000 stars with extraordinary accuracy for more than four years. Its main goal is to discover extra-solar planets by detecting the small dips in light as they transit their parent stars. The mission has been spectacularly successful, with thousands of candidates reported. Meanwhile, Kepler’s observations of oscillations in thousands of stars have led to a revolution in asteroseismology. Key results include detecting gravity modes in red giant stars and characterizing stars found to host exoplanets. Upcoming results from ESA’s Gaia mission will add to the excitement, as will the launch next year of TESS, which is an all-sky follow-up mission to Kepler.