Seismic Study of Stellar Convective Regions: the Base of the Convective Envelope in Low-Mass Stars

M. J. P. F. G. Monteiro, J. Christensen-Dalsgaard, M. J. Thompson

The possibility of observing solar-type oscillations on other stars is of great relevance to investigating the uncertain aspects of the internal structure of stars. One of these aspects is the convective overshoot that takes place at the borders of the envelopes of stars of mass similar to, or lower than, the Sun. It affects the temperature stratification, mixing, rotation and magnetic-field generation. Asteroseismology can provide an observational test for the studies of the structure of such overshoot regions. The seismic study of the transition in the Sun, located at the base of the convection zone, has been successful in determining the characteristics of this layer in the Sun. In this work we consider the extension of the analysis to other solar-type stars (of mass between 0.85 and 1.2Msolar) in order to establish a method for determining the characteristics of their convective envelopes. In particular, we hope to be able to establish seismologically that a star does indeed possess a convective envelope, to measure the size of the convective region and also to constrain the properties of an overshoot layer at the bottom of the envelope. The limitations in terms of observational uncertainties and stellar characteristics, and the detectability of an overshoot layer, are discussed.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume 316, Page 165
July 2000