EDP Sciences
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Volume 494, Number 1, January IV 2009
Page(s) 237 - 242
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200810746
Published online 27 November 2008
A&A 494, 237-242 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810746

Solar-like oscillations in the G8 V star $\tau$ Ceti

T. C. Teixeira1, 2, H. Kjeldsen2, T. R. Bedding3, F. Bouchy4, J. Christensen-Dalsgaard2, M. S. Cunha1, T. Dall5, S. Frandsen2, C. Karoff2, M. J. P. F. G. Monteiro1, 6, and F. P. Pijpers2, 7

1  Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
    e-mail: [mcunha;Mario.Monteiro]@astro.up.pt
2  Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
    e-mail: [tct;hans;jcd;srf;karoff;fpp]@phys.au.dk
3  Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA), School of Physics, University of Sydney 2006, Australia
    e-mail: bedding@Physics.usyd.edu.au
4  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, Traverse du Siphon, BP 8, 13376 Marseille Cedex 12, France
    e-mail: bouchy@iap.fr
5  Gemini Observatory, 670 N. A'ohoku Pl., Hilo, HI 96720, USA
    e-mail: tdall@eso.org
6  Departamento de Matematica Aplicada da Faculdade de Ciencias da Universidade do Porto, Portugal
7  Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London SW7 2BW, UK

Received 5 August 2008 / Accepted 18 November 2008

We used HARPS to measure oscillations in the low-mass star $\tau$ Cet. Although the data were compromised by instrumental noise, we have been able to extract the main features of the oscillations. We found $\tau$ Cet to oscillate with an amplitude that is about half that of the Sun, and with a mode lifetime that is slightly shorter than solar. The large frequency separation is 169 $\mu$Hz, and we have identified modes with degrees 0, 1, 2, and 3. We used the frequencies to estimate the mean density of the star to an accuracy of 0.45% which, combined with the interferometric radius, gives a mass of $0.783 \pm 0.012\,M_{\odot}$ (1.6%).

Key words: stars: oscillations -- stars: individual: $\tau$ Ceti -- stars: individual: $\delta$ Pavonis -- stars: individual: $\alpha$ Centauri B

© ESO 2009

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