We have measured solar-like oscillations in red giants using time-series photometry from the first 34 days of science operations of the Kepler Mission. The light curves, obtained with 30 minute sampling, reveal clear oscillations in a large sample of G and K giants, extending in luminosity from the red clump down to the bottom of the giant branch. We confirm a strong correlation between the large separation of the oscillations (Δν) and the frequency of maximum power (νmax). We focus on a sample of 50 low-luminosity stars (νmax > 100 μHz, L ≲ 30L) having high signal-to-noise ratios and showing the unambiguous signature of solar-like oscillations. These are H-shell-burning stars, whose oscillations should be valuable for testing models of stellar evolution and for constraining the star formation rate in the local disk. We use a new technique to compare stars on a single échelle diagram by scaling their frequencies and find well-defined ridges corresponding to radial and non-radial oscillations, including clear evidence for modes with angular degree l = 3. Measuring the small separation between l = 0 and l = 2 allows us to plot the so-called C-D diagram of δν02 versus Δν. The small separation δν01 of l = 1 from the midpoint of adjacent l = 0 modes is negative, contrary to the Sun and solar-type stars. The ridge for l = 1 is notably broadened, which we attribute to mixed modes, confirming theoretical predictions for low-luminosity giants. Overall, the results demonstrate the tremendous potential of Kepler data for asteroseismology of red giants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science