EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 460, Number 3, December IV 2006
Page(s) 759 - 767
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20065251

A&A 460, 759-767 (2006)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20065251

Asteroseismology and evolutionary status of Procyon A

J. Provost1, G. Berthomieu1, M. Martic2, and P. Morel1

1  Département Cassiopée, UMR CNRS 6202, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, BP 4229, 06304 Nice Cedex 4, France
    e-mail: janine.provost@obs-nice.fr
2  Service d'Aéronomie du CNRS, BP 3, 91371 Verrières-le-Buisson Cedex, France

(Received 22 March 2006 / Accepted 22 June 2006)

Models of Procyon A satisfying the actual observational constraints, particularly the asteroseismic ones, are discussed. The oscillations of these models were computed and analysed. We looked for seismic signatures of the evolutionary status of Procyon A. We show that the behavior of the small frequency spacings, particularly $\delta\nu_{01}$ allows us to distinguish between main sequence and post-main sequence models, all satisfying the observational constraints on mass, effective temperature, radius, and surface metallicity of Procyon A. We also introduce a new seismic evolution criterion, $\varepsilon$, based on the comparison of the low and high frequency parts of the power spectrum. The comparison of the seismic properties of the models with the available asteroseismic observations does not allow us to definitely decide on the stage of evolution of Procyon A. Much more accurate frequencies must be obtained especially in the low-frequency domain to distinguish between the models.

Key words: stars: oscillations -- stars: evolution -- stars: individual: Procyon A

© ESO 2006