Helium signature in red giant oscillation patterns observed by Kepler

M. Vrard, B. Mosser, C. Barban, K. Belkacem, Y. Elsworth, T. Kallinger, S. Hekker, R. Samadi, P. G. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The space-borne missions CoRoT and Kepler have provided a large amount of precise photometric data. Among the stars observed, red giants show a rich oscillation pattern that allows their precise characterization. Long-duration observations allow for investigating the fine structure of this oscillation pattern. A common pattern of oscillation frequency was observed in red giant stars, which corresponds to the second-order development of the asymptotic theory. This pattern, called the universal red giant oscillation pattern, describes the frequencies of stellar acoustic modes. We aim to investigate the deviations observed from this universal pattern, thereby characterizing them in terms of the location of the second ionization zone of helium. We also show how this seismic signature depends on stellar evolution. We measured the frequencies of radial modes with a maximum likelihood estimator method, then we identified a modulation corresponding to the departure from the universal oscillation pattern. We identify the modulation component of the radial mode frequency spacings in more than five hundred red giants. The variation in the modulation that we observe at different evolutionary states brings new constraints on the interior models for these stars. We also derive an updated form of the universal pattern that accounts for the modulation and provides highly precise radial frequencies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA84
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • astro-ph.SR
  • stars: evolution
  • stars: interiors
  • stars: solar-type
  • stars: oscillations


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