Deviations from a uniform period spacing of gravity modes in a massive star

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • P. Degroote
  • C. Aerts
  • A. Baglin
  • M. Briquet
  • A. Noels
  • E. Niemczura
  • J. Montalban
  • S. Bloemen
  • R. Oreiro
  • M. Vučković
  • K. Smolders
  • M. Auvergne
  • F. Baudin
  • C. Catala
  • E. Michel

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • LESIA, CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université Denis, Diderot, Observatoire de Paris, 92195 Meudon cedex, France
  • Radboud University
  • KU Leuven Univ
  • Université de Liege
  • Wroclaw University
  • Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS)


The life of a star is dominantly determined by the physical processes in the stellar interior. Unfortunately, we still have a poor understanding of how the stellar gas mixes near the stellar core, preventing precise predictions of stellar evolution. The unknown nature of the mixing processes as well as the extent of the central mixed region is particularly problematic for massive stars. Oscillations in stars with masses a few times that of the Sun offer a unique opportunity to disentangle the nature of various mixing processes, through the distinct signature they leave on period spacings in the gravity mode spectrum. Here we report the detection of numerous gravity modes in a young star with a mass of about seven solar masses. The mean period spacing allows us to estimate the extent of the convective core, and the clear periodic deviation from the mean constrains the location of the chemical transition zone to be at about 10 per cent of the radius and rules out a clear-cut profile.

Bibliographic note

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-261
Number of pages3
Issue number7286
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2010