Mixed modes in red giants: A window on stellar evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • B. Mosser
  • O. Benomar
  • K. Belkacem
  • M. J. Goupil
  • E. Michel
  • Y. Lebreton
  • D. Stello
  • M. Vrard
  • C. Barban
  • T. R. Bedding
  • S. Deheuvels
  • J. De Ridder
  • J. Montalban
  • A. Noels
  • R. M. Ouazzani
  • R. Samadi
  • T. R. White
  • H. Kjeldsen

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • LESIA, CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université Denis Diderot, Observatoire de Paris
  • Department of Astronomy, University of Tokyo
  • Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney
  • GEPI, CNRS, Université Denis Diderot, Observatoire de Paris
  • Institut de Physique de Rennes, Université de Rennes 1, CNRS (UMR 6251)
  • Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University
  • Université de Toulouse; UPS-OMP, CNRS, IRAP
  • Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, KU Leuven
  • Universita di Padova
  • Institut d'Astrophysique et Géophysique
  • Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen


Context. The detection of oscillations with a mixed character in subgiants and red giants allows us to probe the physical conditions in their cores. Aims. With these mixed modes, we aim at determining seismic markers of stellar evolution. Methods. Kepler asteroseismic data were selected to map various evolutionary stages and stellar masses. Seismic evolutionary tracks were then drawn with the combination of the frequency and period spacings. Results. We measured the asymptotic period spacing for 1178 stars at various evolutionary stages. This allows us to monitor stellar evolution from the main sequence to the asymptotic giant branch and draw seismic evolutionary tracks. We present clear quantified asteroseismic definitions that characterize the change in the evolutionary stages, in particular the transition from the subgiant stage to the early red giant branch, and the end of the horizontal branch. Conclusions. The seismic information is so precise that clear conclusions can be drawn independently of evolution models. The quantitative seismic information can now be used for stellar modeling, especially for studying the energy transport in the helium-burning core or for specifying the inner properties of stars entering the red or asymptotic giant branches. Modeling will also allow us to study stars that are identified to be in the helium-subflash stage, high-mass stars either arriving or quitting the secondary clump, or stars that could be in the blue-loop stage.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberL5
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2014


  • Stars: evolution, Stars: interiors, Stars: oscillations