Origin and Evolution of Stars and Planets

Stellar Interiors and Atmospheres
Task leader: M. J. P. F. G. Monteiro

One important goal of the team is to understand the details of the structure and evolution of stars of low and intermediate masses. To pursue this goal, the team explores a technique known as Asteroseismology, which is based on the study of stellar oscillations. These activities are supported by the team's participation in the French-led mission CoRoT, launched in December 2006, in the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium for the NASA mission, Kepler, launched in March 2009, and the participation in a consortium for the ESA mission PLATO, currently under study.
Simultaneously, the team dedicates part of its efforts to the determination of the global properties of stars, through the analysis of spectroscopic and interferometric data, mostly obtained from ESO telescopes. This component of the research is strengthen by the team's participation in the data processing and analysis Consortium (DPAC), established under the preparation of the GAIA mission (ESA).
Finally, the team studies the chemical composition, magnetism, rotation and chromospheric activity of field and cluster stars, by means of high-resolution spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry, which are key to stellar modelling and dating of stars. Isotopic and elemental abundances in different populations (disk, halo, bulge) using 8-10 m telescopes (ESO, Keck, Gemini), constrain Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the evolution of our Galaxy.

The activities of the team are supported by the following funding projects:

Recent scientific highlights of the team: