Measurement of acoustic glitches in solar-type stars from oscillation frequencies observed by kepler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • A. Mazumdar
  • M. J P F G Monteiro
  • J. Ballot
  • H. M. Antia
  • S. Basu
  • G. Houdek
  • S. Mathur
  • M. S. Cunha
  • V. Silva Aguirre
  • R. A. García
  • D. Salabert
  • J. Christensen-Dalsgaard
  • T. S. Metcalfe
  • D. T. Sanderfer
  • S. E. Seader
  • J. C. Smith

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Aarhus Universitet
  • Yale University
  • Universidade do Porto
  • Université Paris Denis Diderot
  • Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, CNRS, 14 avenue E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France ; Université de Toulouse, UPS-OMP, IRAP, 31400 Toulouse, France
  • University of Vienna
  • High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, P.O. BOX 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, USA
  • Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik
  • University of Birmingham
  • SETI Institute/NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
  • Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
  • Space Science Institute
  • Laboratoire Lagrange, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS
  • NASA Ames Research Center


For the very best and brightest asteroseismic solar-type targets observed by Kepler, the frequency precision is sufficient to determine the acoustic depths of the surface convective layer and the helium ionization zone. Such sharp features inside the acoustic cavity of the star, which we call acoustic glitches, create small oscillatory deviations from the uniform spacing of frequencies in a sequence of oscillation modes with the same spherical harmonic degree. We use these oscillatory signals to determine the acoustic locations of such features in 19 solar-type stars observed by the Kepler mission. Four independent groups of researchers utilized the oscillation frequencies themselves, the second differences of the frequencies and the ratio of the small and large separation to locate the base of the convection zone and the second helium ionization zone. Despite the significantly different methods of analysis, good agreement was found between the results of these four groups, barring a few cases. These results also agree reasonably well with the locations of these layers in representative models of the stars. These results firmly establish the presence of the oscillatory signals in the asteroseismic data and the viability of several techniques to determine the location of acoustic glitches inside stars.


Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2014


  • stars: interiors, stars: oscillations