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Exoplanet Science Seminar

The Future of Age: How Asteroseismology Reveals Fundamental Properties of Stars Like our Sun
Presented by David Soderblom (Host: Geoffrey Bryden)
Space Telescope Science Institute

Thursday, November 21, 2013
4:00 P.M. in 169-336

Some day fairly soon we can hope to hear an announcement of the signs of life on a planet around another star, and when that happens, our first question will be "How old is that star?" because we will want to place such a discovery in an evolutionary context. But stars do not reveal their ages to us in any direct way and we are left trying to use secondary indicators such as rotation or activity.

Asteroseismology offers a real breakthrough in determining stellar ages, particularly for older solar-type stars, and the oscillations detected by Kepler have been especially critical because of their quality and number. In this talk I will present a framework for understanding the problem of stellar age estimation, the limitations encountered with conventional (pre-seismology) methods, how asteroseismology provides constraints on key physical parameters of stars, and what limitations still exist in the problem of estimating stellar ages.

Center for Exoplanet Science

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