Róbert Szabó

I'm an astronomer and the director of the Konkoly Observatory, Budapest. My daily job is to run Hungary's largest astronomical institute. More than 60 researchers work in the institute. We have two ERC-grants, two large GINOP-projects, successful Lendület and Élvonal projects and several other projects.

My main research field is studying stellar pulsations, i.e. the voices of the stars. Stellar oscillations carry lots of information about the structure of and the physical processes inside these distant, otherwise unreachable objects. By observing, investigating and interpreting the oscillations, astrophysicists can peer into stellar interiors, much like geophysicists use seismic waves generated by earthquakes to map the structure of our planet.

I'm interested in observing these stellar light variations, that is recording their "sounds". I use ground-based and space-born instruments (e.g. CoRoT, Kepler, K2, MOST, TESS, and future ones, like PLATO) to detect and analyze stellar pulsations in various types of variable stars. In order to decipher the recorded data, we have to model the stellar structure and pulsation, then compare the model characteristics to the observed data.

In 2018 I won a prestigious Lendület grant from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. With my group we use pulsating variable stars to study the history and formation of our Galaxy. We are using space photometric telescopes, like TESS, astrometric data from ESA's Gaia mission and large sky surveys, like LSST. Machine learning and Big Data are also integral parts of the project.

Beyond working with the frequencies of stellar oscillations, in my spare time I often play with more down-to-earth, but still eternal harmonies: here you can see and listen to my selected organ performances. Enjoy!