LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Université Paris Diderot, 92195 Meudon, France
2 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
3 Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padova, Italy
Accepted: 16 December 2018
Context. Asteroseismology is a unique tool that can be used to study the interior of stars and hence deliver unique information for the studiy of stellar physics, stellar evolution, and Galactic archaeology.
Aims. We aim to develop a simple model of the information content of asteroseismology and to characterize the ability and precision with which fundamental properties of stars can be estimated for different space missions.
Methods. We defined and calibrated metrics of the seismic performance. The metrics, expressed by a seismic index ℰ defined by simple scaling relations, are calculated for an ensemble of stars. We studied the relations between the properties of mission observations, fundamental stellar properties, and the performance index. We also defined thresholds for asteroseismic detection and measurement of different stellar properties.
Results. We find two regimes of asteroseismic performance: the first where the signal strength is dominated by stellar properties and not by observational noise; and the second where observational properties dominate. Typically, for evolved stars, stellar properties provide the dominant terms in estimating the information content, while main sequence stars fall in the regime where the observational properties, especially stellar magnitude, dominate. We estimate scaling relations to predict ℰ with an intrinsic scatter of around 21%. Incidentally, the metrics allow us to distinguish stars burning either hydrogen or helium.
Conclusions. Our predictions will help identify the nature of the cohort of existing and future asteroseismic observations. In addition, the predicted performance for PLATO will help define optimal observing strategies for defined scientific goals.
Key words: stars: oscillations / stars: interiors / stars: evolution
© ESO 2019
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.