Kepler-Detected Gravity-Mode Period Spacings in a Red Giant Star

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Science  17 Mar 2011:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1201939

Stellar interiors are inaccessible through direct observations. For this reason, helioseismologists made use of the Sun's acoustic oscillation modes to tune models of its structure. The quest to detect modes which probe the solar core has been ongoing for decades. We report the detection of mixed modes penetrating all the way to the core of an evolved star from 320 days of observations with the Kepler satellite. The period spacings of these mixed modes are directly dependent on the density gradient between the core region and the convective envelope.