The Centre investigates stars and planets orbiting them, based on observations and theoretical models.
Extensive observations are obtained from the NASA Kepler satellite, and further exquisite data will result from the Danish-led SONG network of telescopes that is being established. The purpose is to understand the structure and evolution of stars and planetary systems, and to investigate the conditions for possible life on the surface of the planets.
The stellar properties are characterized on the basis of observations of ‘star quakes’, i.e., oscillations detected in the stellar luminosity or the motion of the stellar surface. These observations are combined with detailed theoretical models of stellar evolution.
Planetary systems outside the solar system can be studied by measuring the radial velocity or using the so-called transit technique, observing the reduction in the light from a star when a planet passes in front of it.
Other observations can be used to characterize the planetary atmospheres. Based on this one can also simulate in the laboratory the conditions for life on the planets.
In addition to scientists from Aarhus University the Centre involves 5 internationally leading groups with complementary expertise.