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Amplitude and lifetime of radial modes in red giant star spectra observed by Kepler

M. Vrard, T. Kallinger, B. Mosser, C. Barban, F. Baudin, K. Belkacem, M. S. Cunha

Context. The space-borne missions CoRoT and Kepler have provided photometric observations of unprecedented quality. The study of solar-like oscillations observed in red giant stars by these satellites allows a better understanding of the different physical processes occurring in their interiors. In particular, the study of the mode excitation and damping is a promising way to improve our understanding of stellar physics that has, so far, been performed only on a limited number of targets. 

Aims. The recent asteroseismic characterization of the evolutionary status for a large number of red giants allows us to study the physical processes acting in the interior of red giants and how they are modified during stellar evolution. In this work, we aim to obtain information on the excitation and damping of pressure modes through the measurement of the stars' pressure mode widths and amplitudes and to analyze how they are modified with stellar evolution. The objective is to bring observational constraints on the modeling of the physical processes behind mode excitation and damping. 

Methods. We fit the frequency spectra of red giants with well-defined evolutionary status using Lorentzian functions to derive the pressure mode widths and amplitudes. To strengthen our conclusions, we used two different fitting techniques. 

Results. Pressure mode widths and amplitudes were determined for more than 5000 red giants. With a stellar sample two orders of magnitude larger than previous results, we confirmed that the mode width depends on stellar evolution and varies with stellar effective temperature. In addition, we discovered that the mode width depends on stellar mass. We also confirmed observationally the influence of the stellar metallicity on the mode amplitudes, as predicted by models.

asteroseismology, convection, stars: solar-type, stars: evolution, stars: interiors, methods: data analysis

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 616, Article Number A94, Number of pages 12
2018 August

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia