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, 350 (6259), 423-6

Asteroseismology Can Reveal Strong Internal Magnetic Fields in Red Giant Stars

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Asteroseismology Can Reveal Strong Internal Magnetic Fields in Red Giant Stars

Jim Fuller et al. Science.

Abstract

Internal stellar magnetic fields are inaccessible to direct observations, and little is known about their amplitude, geometry, and evolution. We demonstrate that strong magnetic fields in the cores of red giant stars can be identified with asteroseismology. The fields can manifest themselves via depressed dipole stellar oscillation modes, arising from a magnetic greenhouse effect that scatters and traps oscillation-mode energy within the core of the star. The Kepler satellite has observed a few dozen red giants with depressed dipole modes, which we interpret as stars with strongly magnetized cores. We find that field strengths larger than ~10(5) gauss may produce the observed depression, and in one case we infer a minimum core field strength of ≈10(7) gauss.

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