Observational Stellar Astrophysics in the Era of Gaia and Kepler Space Missions

The aim of this course is to give up-to-date knowledge of how to observe and interpret stellar spectra and pulsations, by doing own observations, interpret existing observations and do theoretical modelling.

In the next decade two large European Space Agency projects will take place:

  • The already running Kepler mission is dedicated to studies of asteroseismology of stars and search of exoplanets
  • The Gaia mission will be launched in 2013 for astrometry and spectral classification of billions of stars in our Galaxy.

Many Nordic and Baltic groups are already engaged in these projects, and the training of young scientists for successful participation in the work of these space missions is very important.

The course shall teach methods for investigation of stellar main atmospheric parameters, the detailed chemical composition, astroseismology, and search for exoplanets. The highest priority will be given to observational techniques and doing of own observations.

Both photometric and spectroscopic observing techniques will be taught and tried out at telescopes. Four telescopes with modern detectors will be available, two at the Moletai Observatory in Lithuania, and two at Canary Islands remotely operated: The Nordic Optical Telescope at La Palma and the SONG telescope (for the first time) at the Teide Observatory, as well as data sets from the Kepler space mission.

The course is aimed at students in the first years of their PhD studies, and contain lectures by internationally top scientists, observations, exercises and assignments based mostly on own observations.

Facts about the project
Project leader

Grazina Tautvaisiene, Vilnius University, Litauen