Astrophysics and space science vol:284 issue:1 pages:21-28
Observing stellar oscillations provides a powerful probe for studying stellar interiors. The frequencies of these modes depend on the properties of the star and give strong constraints on stellar models and evolution theories. The five-minute oscillations in the Sun, induced by stochastic excitation of its convective zone, have provided a wealth of information about the solar interior and has led to significant revisions to solar models. Until recently, the Sun was the only star in which solar-like oscillations were clearly established and characterized. The most important difficulty lies in the extremely small amplitude of the acoustic modes. Thanks in great part to high precision ground based Doppler measurements, solar-like oscillations have been now clearly detected in a growing list of main sequence and subgiant stars ( Procyon, beta Hyi, zeta Her A, alpha Cen A, delta Eri and eta Boo). In some of them, p-modes were identified and characterized. New results and prospects in this field are presented.