Waves Inside Stars: The Beauty and Power of Asteroseismology

  • Speaker
  • Conny Aerts, Ph.D.Professor of Astrophysics, Institute of Astronomy, KU Leuven
    Professor of Asteroseismology, Department of Astrophysics, Radboud University
    External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society
Date & Time

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Space asteroseismology — the study of waves inside stars using space-based telescopes — saw its birth less than two decades ago, yet it has already revolutionized our understanding of stellar evolution.

In this talk, Conny Aerts will overview the field’s evolution from asteroseismic studies based on ground-based data to the current space and computational era. She will then highlight the importance of long-term, uninterrupted data to model the rotation properties of large samples of stars with a diversity of masses and evolutionary stages. Aerts will then explain how the various forces acting upon the stellar gas create waves of different natures and probing powers covering a wide range of frequencies. She will end with some mathematical and computational challenges to lift asteroseismology to higher dimensions as a path forward to understanding the fastest-rotating celestial bodies in the universe.

About the Speaker

Aerts is a Belgian asteroseismologist specialized in measuring the internal rotation of stars more massive or more evolved than the sun. Her team developed mathematical and computational modeling techniques to infer stellar rotation from slow waves detected in high-precision photometry assembled by ground and space telescopes such as CoRoT, Kepler and TESS. She laid the foundations of gravito-inertial asteroseismology and was awarded several prestigious scientific prizes, including the 2022 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics.

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