NASA spacecraft designed to seek out alien worlds has also revealed new details about the structure and evolution of stars, and should help astronomers better understand the future of our own sun.
Researchers using NASA's Kepler Spacecraft measured so-called "starquakes," observing oscillations in the brightness of thousands of stars in much the same way geologists study earthquakes to probe our planet's interior. The method, called asteroseismology, is helping astronomers characterize stars as never before, researchers said during a news conference at Aarhus University in Denmark.
"We are just about to enter a new area in stellar astrophysics," Thomas Kallinger, of the University of British Columbia and the University of Vienna, said in a statement. "Kepler provides us with data of such good quality that they will change our view of how stars work in detail."