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Research

Physique du Soleil, des Etoiles et des Exoplanètes

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Structure du champ magnétique de l'étoile de très faible masse V374 Pegasi.  Crédit: MM Jardine & JF Donati

Head : Pascal Petit - Deputy : Jérôme Ballot

Research conducted by the team "Physique du Soleil, des Etoiles et des exoplanètes " (PS2E) aim to improve our understanding of the stars including the nearest of them, the Sun.

Stellar physics is a central theme in astrophysics since any progress made in this area influences every other topics of the discipline. For examples, the physics of galaxies requires the modeling of the stellar populations which fill them ; the study of solar magnetism and its impact on the Earth environment benefits from advances made in the field of stellar magnetism.

Now and for the years to come, research on exoplanets will strongly stimulate stellar physics since the characterization of these objects directly depends upon that of the star associated with them. Even if the understanding of the outlines of the evolution of stars was one of the first successes of astrophysics, the limits of the standard model of evolution are now well known. The major challenges to which stellar physics now faces are a better understanding of star formation and of the effects of rotation, of the magnetic field and of the transport processes (atomic diffusion, turbulence) upon their evolution.

New ways of observing and modeling today allow to address these challenges. The privileged diagnostic tools of the PS2E team are spectro-polarimetry and asteroseismology, and our main modeling tool, intensive numerical simulation, especially for studying the processes of astrophysical fluid dynamics.

The PS2E activities are organized around three main themes that share these observation methods, modeling and simulation tools : asteroseismology and stellar models of new generation, solar and stellar magnetism, basic process involved in astrophysical fluid dynamics and radiative transfer.

To these main themes adds an emerging theme: exoplanets and interactions between stars and planets.

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