A calibration point for stellar evolution from massive star asteroseismology

Burssens, Siemen; Bowman, Dominic M.; Michielsen, Mathias; Simón-Díaz, Sergio; Aerts, Conny; Vanlaer, Vincent; Banyard, Gareth; Nardetto, Nicolas; Townsend, Richard H. D.; Handler, Gerald; Mombarg, Joey S. G.; Vanderspek, Roland; Ricker, George
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Nature Astronomy

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Massive stars are progenitors of supernovae, neutron stars and black holes. During the hydrogen-core burning phase, their convective cores are the prime drivers of their evolution, but inferences of core masses are subject to unconstrained boundary mixing processes. Moreover, uncalibrated transport mechanisms can lead to strong envelope mixing and differential radial rotation. Ascertaining the efficiency of the transport mechanisms is challenging because of a lack of observational constraints. Here we deduce the convective core mass and robustly demonstrate non-rigid radial rotation in a supernova progenitor, the 12 .0−1.5+1.5 solar-mass hydrogen-burning star HD 192575, using asteroseismology, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite photometry, high-resolution spectroscopy and Gaia astrometry. We infer a convective core mass (Mcc=2 .9−0.8+0.5 solar masses), and find the core to be rotating between 1.4 and 6.3 times faster than the stellar envelope, depending on the location of the rotational shear layer. Our results deliver a robust inferred core mass of a massive star using asteroseismology from space-based photometry. HD 192575 is a unique anchor point for studying interior rotation and mixing processes, and thus also angular momentum transport mechanisms inside massive stars.
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Simón Díaz