The treatment of mixing in core helium burning models - I. Implications for asteroseismology

Thomas Constantino, Simon Campbell, Jorgen Christensen-Dalsgaard, John Charles Lattanzio, Dennis Stello

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Abstract

The detection of mixed oscillation modes offers a unique insight into the internal structure of core helium burning (CHeB) stars. The stellar structure during CHeB is very uncertain because the growth of the convective core, and/or the development of a semiconvection zone, is critically dependent on the treatment of convective boundaries. In this study we calculate a suite of stellar structure models and their non-radial pulsations to investigate why the predicted asymptotic g-mode ℓ = 1 period spacing ΔΠ1 is systematically lower than is inferred from Kepler field stars. We find that only models with large convective cores, such as those calculated with our newly proposed ‘maximal-overshoot’ scheme, can match the average ΔΠ1 reported. However, we also find another possible solution that is related to the method used to determine ΔΠ1: mode trapping can raise the observationally inferred ΔΠ1 well above its true value. Even after accounting for these two proposed resolutions to the discrepancy in average ΔΠ1, models still predict more CHeB stars with low ΔΠ1 ( ≲ 270 s) than are observed. We establish two possible remedies for this: (i) there may be a difficulty in determining ΔΠ1 for early CHeB stars (when ΔΠ1 is lowest) because of the effect that the sharp composition profile at the hydrogen burning shell has on the pulsations, or (ii) the mass of the helium core at the flash is higher than predicted. Our conclusions highlight the need for the reporting of selection effects in asteroseismic population studies in order to safely use this information to constrain stellar evolution theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-145
Number of pages23
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume452
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • asteroseismology
  • stars: evolution
  • stars: horizontal branch
  • stars: interiors

Cite this

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title = "The treatment of mixing in core helium burning models - I. Implications for asteroseismology",
abstract = "The detection of mixed oscillation modes offers a unique insight into the internal structure of core helium burning (CHeB) stars. The stellar structure during CHeB is very uncertain because the growth of the convective core, and/or the development of a semiconvection zone, is critically dependent on the treatment of convective boundaries. In this study we calculate a suite of stellar structure models and their non-radial pulsations to investigate why the predicted asymptotic g-mode ℓ = 1 period spacing ΔΠ1 is systematically lower than is inferred from Kepler field stars. We find that only models with large convective cores, such as those calculated with our newly proposed ‘maximal-overshoot’ scheme, can match the average ΔΠ1 reported. However, we also find another possible solution that is related to the method used to determine ΔΠ1: mode trapping can raise the observationally inferred ΔΠ1 well above its true value. Even after accounting for these two proposed resolutions to the discrepancy in average ΔΠ1, models still predict more CHeB stars with low ΔΠ1 ( ≲ 270 s) than are observed. We establish two possible remedies for this: (i) there may be a difficulty in determining ΔΠ1 for early CHeB stars (when ΔΠ1 is lowest) because of the effect that the sharp composition profile at the hydrogen burning shell has on the pulsations, or (ii) the mass of the helium core at the flash is higher than predicted. Our conclusions highlight the need for the reporting of selection effects in asteroseismic population studies in order to safely use this information to constrain stellar evolution theory.",
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The treatment of mixing in core helium burning models - I. Implications for asteroseismology. / Constantino, Thomas; Campbell, Simon; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen; Lattanzio, John Charles; Stello, Dennis.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 452, No. 1, 2015, p. 123-145.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The treatment of mixing in core helium burning models - I. Implications for asteroseismology

AU - Constantino, Thomas

AU - Campbell, Simon

AU - Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen

AU - Lattanzio, John Charles

AU - Stello, Dennis

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - The detection of mixed oscillation modes offers a unique insight into the internal structure of core helium burning (CHeB) stars. The stellar structure during CHeB is very uncertain because the growth of the convective core, and/or the development of a semiconvection zone, is critically dependent on the treatment of convective boundaries. In this study we calculate a suite of stellar structure models and their non-radial pulsations to investigate why the predicted asymptotic g-mode ℓ = 1 period spacing ΔΠ1 is systematically lower than is inferred from Kepler field stars. We find that only models with large convective cores, such as those calculated with our newly proposed ‘maximal-overshoot’ scheme, can match the average ΔΠ1 reported. However, we also find another possible solution that is related to the method used to determine ΔΠ1: mode trapping can raise the observationally inferred ΔΠ1 well above its true value. Even after accounting for these two proposed resolutions to the discrepancy in average ΔΠ1, models still predict more CHeB stars with low ΔΠ1 ( ≲ 270 s) than are observed. We establish two possible remedies for this: (i) there may be a difficulty in determining ΔΠ1 for early CHeB stars (when ΔΠ1 is lowest) because of the effect that the sharp composition profile at the hydrogen burning shell has on the pulsations, or (ii) the mass of the helium core at the flash is higher than predicted. Our conclusions highlight the need for the reporting of selection effects in asteroseismic population studies in order to safely use this information to constrain stellar evolution theory.

AB - The detection of mixed oscillation modes offers a unique insight into the internal structure of core helium burning (CHeB) stars. The stellar structure during CHeB is very uncertain because the growth of the convective core, and/or the development of a semiconvection zone, is critically dependent on the treatment of convective boundaries. In this study we calculate a suite of stellar structure models and their non-radial pulsations to investigate why the predicted asymptotic g-mode ℓ = 1 period spacing ΔΠ1 is systematically lower than is inferred from Kepler field stars. We find that only models with large convective cores, such as those calculated with our newly proposed ‘maximal-overshoot’ scheme, can match the average ΔΠ1 reported. However, we also find another possible solution that is related to the method used to determine ΔΠ1: mode trapping can raise the observationally inferred ΔΠ1 well above its true value. Even after accounting for these two proposed resolutions to the discrepancy in average ΔΠ1, models still predict more CHeB stars with low ΔΠ1 ( ≲ 270 s) than are observed. We establish two possible remedies for this: (i) there may be a difficulty in determining ΔΠ1 for early CHeB stars (when ΔΠ1 is lowest) because of the effect that the sharp composition profile at the hydrogen burning shell has on the pulsations, or (ii) the mass of the helium core at the flash is higher than predicted. Our conclusions highlight the need for the reporting of selection effects in asteroseismic population studies in order to safely use this information to constrain stellar evolution theory.

KW - asteroseismology

KW - stars: evolution

KW - stars: horizontal branch

KW - stars: interiors

UR - http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/content/452/1/123.full.pdf+html

U2 - 10.1093/mnras/stv1264

DO - 10.1093/mnras/stv1264

M3 - Article

VL - 452

SP - 123

EP - 145

JO - Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

JF - Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

SN - 0035-8711

IS - 1

ER -