Amplitudes of Stellar Oscillations: The Implications for Asteroseismology

Research paper by H. Kjeldsen, T. R. Bedding

Indexed on: 08 Mar '94Published on: 08 Mar '94Published in: Astrophysics


There are no good predictions for the amplitudes expected from solar-like oscillations in other stars. In the absence of a definitive model for convection, which is thought to be the mechanism that excites these oscillations, the amplitudes for both velocity and luminosity measurements must be estimated by scaling from the Sun. In the case of luminosity measurements, even this is difficult because of disagreement over the solar amplitude. This last point has lead us to investigate whether the luminosity amplitude of oscillations (dL/L) can be derived from the velocity amplitude v_osc. Using linear theory and observational data, we show that p-mode oscillations in a large sample of pulsating stars satisfy (dL/L)_bol proportional to v_osc/T_eff. Using this relationship, together with the best estimate of v_osc(Sun) = (23.4 +/- 1.4) cm/s, we estimate the luminosity amplitude of solar oscillations at 550 nm to be dL/L = (4.7 +/- 0.3) ppm. Next we discuss how to scale the amplitude of solar-like (i.e., convectively-powered) oscillations from the Sun to other stars. The only predictions come from model calculations by (Christensen-Dalsgaard & Frandsen, Sol. Phys. 82, 469). However, their grid of stellar models is not dense enough to allow amplitude predictions for an arbitrary star. Nevertheless, although convective theory is complicated, we might expect that the general properties of convection -- including oscillation amplitudes -- should change smoothly through the colour-magnitude diagram. Indeed, we find that the velocity amplitudes predicted by the model