Dr Bill Chaplin, Reader in Solar and Stellar Physics, from the University of Birmingham’s School of Physics and Astronomy, will speak at the American Association for the Advancement of Science press conference on Saturday 19 February 2010. 

At the press conference, Dr Chaplin will give an overview of results on the study of stars like our own Sun (solar-type stars) using the science of asteroseismology. The observations are being made by the NASA Kepler spacecraft.

Asteroseismology is the observation of the natural resonances, or pulsations, of stars. Using the data from these oscillations it is possible to measure the ages and sizes of stars, and to map out their interiors. 

Dr Chaplin leads an international collaboration of over 170 scientists who are using asteroseismology to study solar-type stars with Kepler. The Kepler Mission is primarily used to look for extrasolar planets – planets that are outside our solar system orbiting other stars.  As a result of this mission asteroseismologists now also have data on many solar-type stars.  These data will lead to a more precise understanding about the size and age of the orbiting planets, will allow scientists to study the building blocks of the universe, and to better understand the evolution of our galaxy and other galaxies. 


For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.