Asteroseismic classification of stellar populations among 13,000 red giants observed by kepler

Dennis Stello, Daniel Huber, Timothy R. Bedding, Othman Benomar, Lars Bildsten, Yvonne P. Elsworth, Ronald L. Gilliland, Benoît Mosser, Bill Paxton, Timothy R. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Of the more than 150,000 targets followed by the Kepler Mission, about 10% were selected as red giants. Due to their high scientific value, in particular for Galaxy population studies and stellar structure and evolution, their Kepler light curves were made public in late 2011. More than 13,000 (over 85%) of these stars show intrinsic flux variability caused by solar-like oscillations making them ideal for large-scale asteroseismic investigations. We automatically extracted individual frequencies and measured the period spacings of the dipole modes in nearly every red giant. These measurements naturally classify the stars into various populations, such as the red giant branch, the low-mass (M/M ≲ 1.8) helium-core-burning red clump, and the higher-mass (M/M ≳ 1.8) secondary clump. The period spacings also reveal that a large fraction of the stars show rotationally induced frequency splittings. This sample of stars will undoubtedly provide an extremely valuable source for studying the stellar population in the direction of the Kepler field, in particular when combined with complementary spectroscopic surveys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL41
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2013


  • asteroseismology
  • stars: evolution
  • stars: fundamental parameters
  • stars: interiors
  • stars: oscillations
  • techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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