Asteroseismology of High-Mass Stars: New Insights of Stellar Interiors With Space Telescopes
Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Massive stars are important metal factories in the Universe. They have short and energetic lives, and many of them inevitably explode as a supernova and become a neutron star or black hole. In turn, the formation, evolution and explosive deaths of massive stars impact the surrounding interstellar medium and shape the evolution of their host galaxies. Yet the chemical and dynamical evolution of a massive star, including the chemical yield of the ultimate supernova and the remnant mass of the
... ant mass of the compact object, strongly depend on the interior physics of the progenitor star. We currently lack empirically calibrated prescriptions for various physical processes at work within massive stars, but this is now being remedied by asteroseismology. The study of stellar structure and evolution using stellar oscillations-asteroseismology-has undergone a revolution in the last two decades thanks to high-precision time series photometry from space telescopes. In particular, the long-term light curves provided by the MOST, CoRoT, BRITE, Kepler/K2, and TESS missions provided invaluable data sets in terms of photometric precision, duration and frequency resolution to successfully apply asteroseismology to massive stars and probe their interior physics. The observation and subsequent modeling of stellar pulsations in massive stars has revealed key missing ingredients in stellar structure and evolution models of these stars. Thus, asteroseismology has opened a new window into calibrating stellar physics within a highly degenerate part of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. In this review, I provide a historical overview of the progress made using ground-based and early space missions, and discuss more recent advances and breakthroughs in our understanding of massive star interiors by means of asteroseismology with modern space telescopes.