Internal mixing of rotating stars inferred from dipole gravity modes

May G. Pedersen, Conny Aerts, Péter I. Pápics, Mathias Michielsen, Sarah Gebruers, Tamara M. Rogers, Geert Molenberghs, Siemen Burssens, Stefano Garcia, Dominic M. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


During most of their life, stars fuse hydrogen into helium in their cores. The mixing of chemical elements in the radiative envelope of stars with a convective core is able to replenish the core with extra fuel. If effective, such deep mixing allows stars to live longer and change their evolutionary path. Yet localized observations to constrain internal mixing are absent so far. Gravity modes probe the deep stellar interior near the convective core and allow us to calibrate internal mixing processes. Here we provide core-to-surface mixing profiles inferred from observed dipole gravity modes in 26 rotating stars with masses between 3 and 10 solar masses. We find a wide range of internal mixing levels across the sample. Stellar models with stratified mixing profiles in the envelope reveal the best asteroseismic performance. Our results provide observational guidance for three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations of transport processes in the deep interiors of stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-722
Number of pages8
JournalNature Astronomy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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