Seismic evidence for a rapidly rotating core in a lower-giant-branch star observed with kepler

S. Deheuvels, R. A. García, W. J. Chaplin, S. Basu, H. M. Antia, T. Appourchaux, O. Benomar, G. R. Davies, Y. Elsworth, L. Gizon, M. J. Goupil, D. R. Reese, C. Regulo, J. Schou, T. Stahn, L. Casagrande, J. Christensen-Dalsgaard, D. Fischer, S. Hekker, H. KjeldsenS. Mathur, B. Mosser, M. Pinsonneault, J. Valenti, J. L. Christiansen, K. Kinemuchi, F. Mullally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rotation is expected to have an important influence on the structure and the evolution of stars. However, the mechanisms of angular momentum transport in stars remain theoretically uncertain and very complex to take into account in stellar models. To achieve a better understanding of these processes, we desperately need observational constraints on the internal rotation of stars, which until very recently was restricted to the Sun. In this paper, we report the detection of mixed modes - i.e., modes that behave both as g modes in the core and as p modes in the envelope - in the spectrum of the early red giant KIC7341231, which was observed during one year with the Kepler spacecraft. By performing an analysis of the oscillation spectrum of the star, we show that its non-radial modes are clearly split by stellar rotation and we are able to determine precisely the rotational splittings of 18 modes. We then find a stellar model that reproduces very well the observed atmospheric and seismic properties of the star. We use this model to perform inversions of the internal rotation profile of the star, which enables us to show that the core of the star is rotating at least five times faster than the envelope. This will shed new light on the processes of transport of angular momentum in stars. In particular, this result can be used to place constraints on the angular momentum coupling between the core and the envelope of early red giants, which could help us discriminate between the theories that have been proposed over the last few decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


  • stars: evolution
  • stars: individual (KIC 7341231)
  • stars: interiors
  • stars: oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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