The period 2035-50 considered in the ESA Voyage long-term plan will coincide with a series of foreseeable advances in the characterization of the stellar content of the Milky Way. The Gaia mission, combined with large-scale spectroscopic surveys, is helping to build an unprecedented census in terms of the astrometric, kinematic and chemical properties of Galactic stellar populations. Within a decade, precise measurements of such properties will be available for hundreds of millions of stars. Meanwhile, time-domain surveys initiated with CoRoT and Kepler/K2 and carried on by space missions such as TESS and PLATO or ground-based projects like the LSST, will have brought asteroseismology to a high level of maturity. The combination of precise ages from asteroseismology with astrometric and spectroscopic data, on large stellar samples, is allowing Galactic archaeologists to gain new insight into the assembly history of the Milky Way. Recent breakthroughs --- based on the detection of solar-like oscillations in tens of thousands of red-giant stars --- demonstrate the potential of such approach. Therefore, we are convinced that an all-sky, high-cadence, long-duration stellar variability survey will become a scientific priority in the 2035-50 period. The Chronos concept presented here consists in a time-domain extension to Gaia. It will allow for mass and age estimates for half a million red giants within 1.7 kpc from the Sun and hence shed a new light on our understanding of the Galactic dynamics and archaeology. In terms of the targeted pulsators, Chronos will bridge the gap between PLATO and the LSST by surveying stars all the way from the subgiant branch to the early AGB. Finally, it will surpass all previous surveys capable of conducting asteroseismology in terms of the combined sky coverage and duration of the observations (2 x 3.75 months over the whole sky and >5 years in the CVZ).
- Pub Date:
- August 2019
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- White paper submitted in response to the Voyage 2050 long-term plan in the ESA Science Programme