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Probing the properties of convective cores through g modes: high-order g modes in SPB and γ Doradus stars




In main-sequence stars, the periods of high-order gravity modes are sensitive probes of stellar cores and, in particular, of the chemical composition gradient that develops near the outer edge of the convective core. We present an analytical approximation of high-order g modes that takes into account the effect of the μ gradient near the core. We show that in main-sequence models, similarly to the case of white dwarfs, the periods of high-order gravity modes are accurately described by a uniform period spacing superposed to an oscillatory component. The periodicity and amplitude of such component are related, respectively, to the location and sharpness of the μ gradient.

We investigate the properties of high-order gravity modes for stellar models in a mass domain range between 1 and 10 M, and the effects of the stellar mass, evolutionary state and extra-mixing processes on period spacing features. In particular, we show that for models of a typical Slowly Pulsating B (SPB) star, a chemical mixing that could likely be induced by the slow rotation observed in these stars is able to significantly change the g-mode spectra of the equilibrium model. Prospects and challenges for the asteroseismology of γ Doradus and SPB stars are also discussed.

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