Asteroseismology of Red Giants and Galactic Archaeology
From the oscillations in red-giant stars measured in time-series data it is possible to derive more accurate stellar parameters (e.g., mass, radius and age) as can be done using only single-epoch spectroscopy or photometry. These stellar parameters combined with chemical composition and the position, distance and velocity of the stars play an important role in studying the formation and evolution of the Milky Way. In this chapter we discuss some key physical phenomena that are at play in (red-giant) stars as well as some important phases in red-giant evolution. Subsequently, oscillation characteristics that are of importance for the determination of stellar parameters (as indicated above) of red-giant stars are introduced followed by a description of the main components of the Milky Way. Finally, the role red giants can play in creating a detailed observational picture of the Milky Way and deciphering the formation and evolution of the Milky Way is discussed.
I would like to thank Alexey Mints, George Angelou and Maarten Mooij for useful discussions and comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. Furthermore, I acknowledge Earl Bellinger, Abishek Datta and Thomas Constantino for providing stellar evolution models used for figures. I acknowledge funding from the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013)/ERC grant agreement no 338251 (StellarAges).
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