WorldWideScience

Sample records for starspots

  1. Starspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strassmeier, Klaus G.

    2009-09-01

    Starspots are created by local magnetic fields on the surfaces of stars, just as sunspots. Their fields are strong enough to suppress the overturning convective motion and thus block or redirect the flow of energy from the stellar interior outwards to the surface and consequently appear as locally cool and therefore dark regions against an otherwise bright photosphere (Biermann in Astronomische Nachrichten 264:361, 1938; Z Astrophysik 25:135, 1948). As such, starspots are observable tracers of the yet unknown internal dynamo activity and allow a glimpse into the complex internal stellar magnetic field structure. Starspots also enable the precise measurement of stellar rotation which is among the key ingredients for the expected internal magnetic topology. But whether starspots are just blown-up sunspot analogs, we do not know yet. This article is an attempt to review our current knowledge of starspots. A comparison of a white-light image of the Sun (G2V, 5 Gyr) with a Doppler image of a young solar-like star (EK Draconis; G1.5V, age 100 Myr, rotation 10 × Ω Sun) and with a mean-field dynamo simulation suggests that starspots can be of significantly different appearance and cannot be explained with a scaling of the solar model, even for a star of same mass and effective temperature. Starspots, their surface location and migration pattern, and their link with the stellar dynamo and its internal energy transport, may have far reaching impact also for our understanding of low-mass stellar evolution and formation. Emphasis is given in this review to their importance as activity tracers in particular in the light of more and more precise exoplanet detections around solar-like, and therefore likely spotted, host stars.

  2. Magnetic starspots

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jahn, K.; Stepien, K.

    1984-01-01

    Models of large magnetic starspots with an axisymmetric untwisted magnetic field on late type stars are discussed. It is assumed that the magnetic field reduces the efficiency of convection inside the spot. A unique relation between the stellar mass and the difference of effective temperatures of the spot and the surrounding photosphere is adopted from observations. It is equivalent to the reduction of a s (the mixing length theory parameter) inside the spot to the value 0.15 independently of the stellar mass. The surface magnetic field of large spots covering a considerable part of the stellar surface is a decreasing function of the magnetic flux. Hence a coverage of a star by magnetic regions rapidly increases as a function of the magnetic flux in a narrow range of fluxes. This behaviour can explain the Vaughan-Preston gap. Recent observations of magnetic fields on G and K type stars are in a good agreement with our predictions. 35 refs., 3 figs., 4 tabs. (author)

  3. Cheetah: Starspot modeling code

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walkowicz, Lucianne; Thomas, Michael; Finkestein, Adam

    2014-12-01

    Cheetah models starspots in photometric data (lightcurves) by calculating the modulation of a light curve due to starspots. The main parameters of the program are the linear and quadratic limb darkening coefficients, stellar inclination, spot locations and sizes, and the intensity ratio of the spots to the stellar photosphere. Cheetah uses uniform spot contrast and the minimum number of spots needed to produce a good fit and ignores bright regions for the sake of simplicity.

  4. A theoretical starspot model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jahn, K.

    1983-01-01

    A model of the monopoloidal and axisymmetric spot with the untwisted configuration of the magnetic field is considered and the influence of the magnetic field on the gas is described with the assumption that the magnetic field partially inhibits convective-energy transport. Series of starspot models have been computed for a zero-age main sequence star of one solar mass. Models are described by three free parameters: the total magnetic flux, the effective temperature of the spot and the position of the spot bottom. Obtained models of small spots can be compared with sunspot and there is a satisfactory agreement between our results and observations. (author)

  5. Evolution of Starspots on LO Pegasi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Robert; Bloodgood, Felise; Martin, Alec; Pellegrin, Kyle

    2018-01-01

    LO Pegasi is a young solar analog, a K main-sequence star that rotates with a period of 10.1538 hr. The rapid rotation yields a strong stellar dynamo associated with large starspots on the surface, which are regions where the magnetic field inhibits the convective transport of energy from below, so that the spots are cooler and thus darker than the surrounding photosphere. The star thus exhibits rotational modulation of its light curve as the starspots are carried into and out of view of Earth. CCD images of LO Peg were acquired at Perkins Observatory in Delaware, OH through standard B, V, R, and I photometric filters from 2017 June 1 to July 20. After subtracting dark frames and flat fielding the images, differential aperture photometry was performed to yield light curves through each of the four filters. The resulting light curves that were then analyzed via the Light-curve Inversion program created by one of us (Harmon) to produce surface maps. Our observations indicated that LO Pegasi’s light curve changed in both amplitude and shape between 2017 June and July, while its maximum brightness did not change. We present maps corresponding to these two distinct light curves, along with maps for data acquired from 2006-2016.

  6. The Effect of Starspots on Detectability of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Ryan; Berta-Thompson, Zachory

    2018-01-01

    Transmission spectroscopy is an effective tool for detecting and characterizing the atmospheres of transiting extrasolar planets. However, the presence of cool spots on a planet’s host star can be a source of uncertainty that is difficult to account for. Cool starspots introduce wavelength-dependent features and noise into the transmission spectrum of an orbiting exoplanet. For sufficiently cool stars, especially M dwarfs, this could cause false detections of water and other species in the planet’s atmosphere. To understand the extent of this problem, we use a combination of PHOENIX model spectra and the starspot simulation code MACULA to simulate the effects of starspots on observed transmission spectra for a wide variety of stars and spot configurations. By comparing the simulated DoTV (Depth of Transit Variation) due to starspots with models of the expected DoTV from exoplanet atmospheres with a given composition, we can estimate the level of effect the starspots have on the detectability of various atmospheres. For example, our results indicate for TRAPPIST-1’s planets that while the large amplitude absorption features from a H/He-rich atmosphere should be easily detectable, a pure water atmosphere would be much harder to distinguish from starspot noise. Consequently, proper characterization of exoplanet atmospheres, especially around cool, active host stars, requires a proper understanding of the star’s spot properties and suitable methods for reducing or removing spot-induced brightness fluctuations as a source of noise.

  7. Possible Bright Starspots on TRAPPIST-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Brett M.; Agol, Eric; Davenport, James R. A.; Hawley, Suzanne L.

    2018-04-01

    The M8V star TRAPPIST-1 hosts seven roughly Earth-sized planets and is a promising target for exoplanet characterization. Kepler/K2 Campaign 12 observations of TRAPPIST-1 in the optical show an apparent rotational modulation with a 3.3-day period, though that rotational signal is not readily detected in the Spitzer light curve at 4.5 μm. If the rotational modulation is due to starspots, persistent dark spots can be excluded from the lack of photometric variability in the Spitzer light curve. We construct a photometric model for rotational modulation due to photospheric bright spots on TRAPPIST-1 that is consistent with both the Kepler and Spitzer light curves. The maximum-likelihood model with three spots has typical spot sizes of R spot/R ⋆ ≈ 0.004 at temperature T spot ≳ 5300 ± 200 K. We also find that large flares are observed more often when the brightest spot is facing the observer, suggesting a correlation between the position of the bright spots and flare events. In addition, these flares may occur preferentially when the spots are increasing in brightness, which suggests that the 3.3-day periodicity may not be a rotational signal, but rather a characteristic timescale of active regions.

  8. Investigating stellar surface rotation using observations of starspots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korhonen, Heidi Helena

    2011-01-01

    Rapid rotation enhances the dynamo operating in stars, and thus also introduces significantly stronger magnetic activity than is seen in slower rotators. Many young cool stars still have the rapid, primordial rotation rates induced by the interstellar molecular cloud from which they were formed....... Also older stars in close binary systems are often rapid rotators. These types of stars can show strong magnetic activity and large starspots. In the case of large starspots which cause observable changes in the brightness of the star, and even in the shapes of the spectral line profiles, one can get...... information on the rotation of the star. At times even information on the spot rotation at different stellar latitudes can be obtained, similarly to the solar surface differential rotation measurements using magnetic features as tracers. Here, I will review investigations of stellar rotation based...

  9. SUNSPOT AND STARSPOT LIFETIMES IN A TURBULENT EROSION MODEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Litvinenko, Yuri E. [Department of Mathematics, University of Waikato, P. B. 3105, Hamilton (New Zealand); Wheatland, M. S. [Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia)

    2017-01-10

    Quantitative models of sunspot and starspot decay predict the timescale of magnetic diffusion and may yield important constraints in stellar dynamo models. Motivated by recent measurements of starspot lifetimes, we investigate the disintegration of a magnetic flux tube by nonlinear diffusion. Previous theoretical studies are extended by considering two physically motivated functional forms for the nonlinear diffusion coefficient D : an inverse power-law dependence D ∝ B {sup −ν} and a step-function dependence of D on the magnetic field magnitude B . Analytical self-similar solutions are presented for the power-law case, including solutions exhibiting “super fast” diffusion. For the step-function case, the heat-balance integral method yields approximate solutions, valid for moderately suppressed diffusion in the spot. The accuracy of the resulting solutions is confirmed numerically, using a method which provides an accurate description of long-time evolution by imposing boundary conditions at infinite distance from the spot. The new models may allow insight into the differences and similarities between sunspots and starspots.

  10. Recurring sets of recurring starspot occultations on exoplanet host Qatar-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Močnik, T.; Southworth, J.; Hellier, C.

    2017-10-01

    We announce the detection of recurring sets of recurring starspot occultation events in the short-cadence K2 light curve of Qatar-2, a K dwarf star transited every 1.34 d by a hot Jupiter. In total, we detect 34 individual starspot occultation events, caused by five different starspots, occulted in up to five consecutive transits or after a full stellar rotation. The longest recurring set of recurring starspot occultations spans over three stellar rotations, setting a lower limit for the longest starspot lifetime of 58 d. Starspot analysis provided a robust stellar rotational period measurement of 18.0 ± 0.2 d and indicates that the system is aligned, having a sky-projected obliquity of 0° ± 8°. A pronounced rotational modulation in the light curve has a period of 18.2 ± 1.6 d, in agreement with the rotational period derived from the starspot occultations. We tentatively detect an ellipsoidal modulation in the phase curve, with a semi-amplitude of 18 ppm, but cannot exclude the possibility that this is the result of red noise or imperfect removal of the rotational modulation. We detect no transit-timing and transit-duration variations with upper limits of 15 s and 1 min, respectively. We also reject any additional transiting planets with transit depths above 280 ppm in the orbital period region 0.5-30 d.

  11. Molecular Diagnostics of the Internal Structure of Starspots and Sunspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afram, N.; Berdyugina, S. V.; Fluri, D. M.; Solanki, S. K.; Lagg, A.; Petit, P.; Arnaud, J.

    2006-12-01

    We have analyzed the usefulness of molecules as a diagnostic tool for studying solar and stellar magnetism with the molecular Zeeman and Paschen-Back effects. In the first part we concentrate on molecules that are observed in sunspots such as MgH and TiO. We present calculated molecular line profiles obtained by assuming magnetic fields of 2-3 kG and compare these synthetic Stokes profiles with spectro-polarimetric observations in sunspots. The good agreement between the theory and observations allows us to turn our attention in the second part to starspots to gain insight into their internal structure. We investigate the temperature range in which the selected molecules can serve as indicators for magnetic fields on highly active cool stars and compare synthetic Stokes profiles with our recent observations.

  12. Time-scales of stellar rotational variability and starspot diagnostics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkhypov, Oleksiy V.; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Lammer, Helmut; Güdel, Manuel; Lüftinger, Teresa; Johnstone, Colin P.

    2018-01-01

    The difference in stability of starspot distribution on the global and hemispherical scales is studied in the rotational spot variability of 1998 main-sequence stars observed by Kepler mission. It is found that the largest patterns are much more stable than smaller ones for cool, slow rotators, whereas the difference is less pronounced for hotter stars and/or faster rotators. This distinction is interpreted in terms of two mechanisms: (1) the diffusive decay of long-living spots in activity complexes of stars with saturated magnetic dynamos, and (2) the spot emergence, which is modulated by gigantic turbulent flows in convection zones of stars with a weaker magnetism. This opens a way for investigation of stellar deep convection, which is yet inaccessible for asteroseismology. Moreover, a subdiffusion in stellar photospheres was revealed from observations for the first time. A diagnostic diagram was proposed that allows differentiation and selection of stars for more detailed studies of these phenomena.

  13. Spectroscopic Evidence for Nonuniform Starspot Properties on II Pegasi

    Science.gov (United States)

    ONeal, Douglas; Saar, Steven H.; Neff, James E.

    1998-01-01

    We present spectroscopic evidence for Multiple Spot temperatures on the RS CVn star II Pegasi (HD 224085). We model the strengths of the 7055 and 8860 A TiO absorption bands in the spectrum of II Peg using weighted sums of inactive comparison spectra: a K star to represent the nonspotted photosphere and an M star to represent the spots. The best fit yields independent measurements of the starspot filling factor (f(sub s) and mean spot temperature (T(sub s)) averaged over the visible hemisphere of the star. During three-fourths of a rotation of II Peg in late 1996, we measure a constant f(sub s) approximately equals 55% +/- 5%. However, (T(sub s) varies from 3350 +/- 60 to 3550 +/- 70 K. We compute (T(sub s) for two simple models: (1) a star with two distinct spot temperatures, and (2) a star with different umbral/penumbral area ratios. The changing (T(sub s) correlates with emission strengths of H(alpha) and the Ca II infrared triplet in the sense that cooler (T(sub s) accompanies weaker emission. We explore possible implications of these results for the physical properties of the spots on II Peg and for stellar surface structure in general.

  14. II Peg: Spectroscopic Evidence for Multiple Starspot Temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neal, Douglas; Saar, Steven H.; Neff, James E. Neff

    We present spectroscopic evidence for multiple spot temperatures on the RS CVn star II Pegasi (HD 224085). We fit the strengths of the 7055 AAg and 8860 AAg TiO absorption bands in the spectrum of an active star using weighted sums of comparison spectra: the spectrum of an inactive K star to represent the non-spotted photosphere and the spectrum of an M star to represent the spots. We can thus independently measure starspot filling factor (fspot) and temperature (tspot). During 3/4 of a rotation of II Peg in Sept.-Oct. 1996, we measure fspot approximately constant at 55+/-5%. However, tspot varies from 3350 K to 3500 K. Since our method yields one derived tspot integrated over the visible hemisphere of the star, we present the results of simple models of a star with two distinct spot temperatures and compute the tspot we would derive in those cases. The changing tspot correlates with emission strengths of Hα and the Ca 2 infrared triplet, in the sense that cooler \\tspot accompanies weaker emission. We explore the consequences of these results for the physical properties of the spots on II Peg and for stellar surface structure in general.

  15. Starspot variability as an X-ray radiation proxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkhypov, Oleksiy V.; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Lammer, Helmut; Güdel, Manuel; Lüftinger, Teresa; Johnstone, Colin P.

    2018-05-01

    Stellar X-ray emission plays an important role in the study of exoplanets as a proxy for stellar winds and as a basis for the prediction of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) flux, unavailable for direct measurements, which in their turn are important factors for the mass-loss of planetary atmospheres. Unfortunately, the detection thresholds limit the number of stars with the directly measured X-ray fluxes. At the same time, the known connection between the sunspots and X-ray sources allows using of the starspot variability as an accessible proxy for the stellar X-ray emission. To realize this approach, we analysed the light curves of 1729 main-sequence stars with rotation periods 0.5 X-ray to bolometric luminosity ratio Rx. As a result, the regressions for stellar X-ray luminosity Lx(P, Teff) and its related EUV analogue LEUV were obtained for the main-sequence stars. It was shown that these regressions allow prediction of average (over the considered stars) values of log (Lx) and log (LEUV) with typical errors of 0.26 and 0.22 dex, respectively. This, however, does not include the activity variations in particular stars related to their individual magnetic activity cycles.

  16. Magnetic fields in starspots on late-type giants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jahn, K.

    1985-01-01

    Computations of models of magnetic starspots on cool active giants show that the value of the magnetic intensity in spots is generally of the order of one kilogauss, although in larger spots the field can be as weak as a few hundred gauss. It is also argued, that spots on giants qualitatively differ from those on late-type dwarfs, since they cannot be too large. The largest individual spots can cover at most about one percent of a stellar hemisphere. This is in a very good agreement with earlier suggestions based on observations of spotted giants. The assumption that spots are the regions of the strongest magnetic field allows to discuss recent attempts of detection of the magnetic field on late-type giants. Polarimetric measurements most probably cannot be successful, due to a small field strength and a complex topology of the field. It is shown that even if a whole surface was covered by spots with relatively strong field, the resulting not longitudinal field would be as weak as a few gauss. Also methods independent of polarimetric measurements, based on the analysis of Zeeman broadening, generally are not sensitive enough to detect the magnetic field on giants, even in spots. λ And is discussed as an example. The comparison of models of spots computed for that stars with photometric observations suggests, that a dark region on λ And consists of hundreds of small spots (each of them smaller than about 0.1% of the hemisphere), in which the magnetic intensity cannot exceed about 900 gauss, and most probably is even smaller. 23 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs. (author)

  17. Orbital alignment and star-spot properties in the WASP-52 planetary system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mancini, L.; Southworth, J.; Raia, G.

    2017-01-01

    the same site but with two different instruments, including a multi-band camera. Anomalies were clearly detected in five light curves and modelled as starspots occulted by the planet during the transit events. We fitted the clean light curves with the jktebop code, and those with the anomalies...

  18. The effect of M dwarf starspot activity on low-mass planet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barnes, J.R.; Jeffers, S.V.; Jones, H.R.A.

    2011-01-01

    In light of the growing interest in searching for low mass, rocky planets, we investigate the impact of starspots on radial velocity searches for earth-mass planets in orbit about M dwarf stars. Since new surveys targeting M dwarfs will likely be carried out at infrared wavelengths, a comparison

  19. A spectroscopic, photometric, and magnetic study of the starspot on II Pegasi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, S. S.

    1981-01-01

    A description is presented of extensive observations of II Peg during 1977 and 1978, taking into account multicolor broad-band photometry, high-dispersion spectroscopy, low-dispersion spectrophotometry, and Zeeman analysis. During this time the star showed periodic light variations in excess of a 0.4 mag range attributable to the presence of a large starspot or an equivalent nonuniform surface brightness distribution. The high-precision multicolor photometry, which differed greatly from previous photometric results, illustrates that the starspots on II Peg are continually evolving on time scales of approximately 1 year or less. A low-dispersion spectrum of the large spot showed pronounced VO and TiO molecular adsorption features. A high-resolution, high signal-to-noise Reticon spectrum at lambda 6707 does not show any compelling evidence of previously reported lithium in this star.

  20. On the Use of Line Depth Ratios to Measure Starspot Properties on Magnetically Active Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neal, Douglas

    2006-07-01

    Photometric and spectroscopic techniques have proven to be effective ways to measure the properties of dark, cool starspots on magnetically active stars. Recently, a technique was introduced using atomic line depth ratios (LDRs) to measure starspot properties. Carefully reproducing this technique using a new set of spectroscopic observations of active stars, we find that the LDR technique encounters difficulties, specifically by overestimating spot temperatures (because the atomic lines blend with titanium oxide absorption in cooler spots) and by not tightly constraining the filling factor of spots. While the use of LDRs for active star studies has great promise, we believe that these concerns need to be addressed before the technique is more widely applied. This paper includes data taken at McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas at Austin.

  1. Levels of mercury in muscle and liver of star-spotted dogfish (Mustelus manazo) from the northern region of Japan: a comparison with spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, Tetsuya; Hisamichi, Yohsuke; Kimura, Osamu; Ogasawara, Hideki; Ohta, Chiho; Koga, Nobuyuki; Kato, Yoshihisa; Haraguchi, Koichi

    2013-04-01

    We analyzed mercury (Hg) concentrations in muscle and liver samples of star-spotted dogfish (Mustelus manazo) caught off the northern region of Japan and compared them with those of spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) caught in the same region. The average body length of male star-spotted dogfish specimens was significantly smaller than that of female specimens, reflecting the slower growth rate of male fish. Hg concentrations in liver and muscle increased with increases in body length and estimated age of both male and female star-spotted dogfish specimens. However, the relationships between Hg concentration in liver or muscle and body length or estimated age of male specimens differed markedly from those of female specimens, reflecting differences in growth rate and cessation of growth on reaching maturity. Marked increases in Hg concentration in liver of male and female star-spotted dogfish specimens were observed slightly later than increases in Hg concentration in muscle of those specimens due to growth cessation. These marked increases in Hg in liver may reflect increases in Hg due to the formation of mercury selenide. Similar results were previously reported in spiny dogfish specimens, except spiny dogfish showed only trace levels of Hg in liver (Endo et al., Chemosphere 77:1333-1337, 2009). The greater lipid content in liver and the larger liver size in spiny dogfish may explain the much lower levels of Hg observed in liver of spiny dogfish compared with those in the star-spotted dogfish.

  2. Star-spot distributions and chromospheric activity on the RS CVn type eclipsing binary SV Cam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Şenavcı, H. V.; Bahar, E.; Montes, D.; Zola, S.; Hussain, G. A. J.; Frasca, A.; Işık, E.; Yörükoǧlu, O.

    2018-06-01

    Using a time series of high-resolution spectra and high-quality multi-colour photometry, we reconstruct surface maps of the primary component of the RS CVn type rapidly rotating eclipsing binary, SV Cam (F9V + K4V). We measure a mass ratio, q, of 0.641(2) using our highest quality spectra and obtain surface brightness maps of the primary component, which exhibit predominantly high-latitude spots located between 60° - 70° latitudes with a mean filling factor of ˜35%. This is also indicated by the R-band light curve inversion, subjected to rigourous numerical tests. The spectral subtraction of the Hα line reveals strong activity of the secondary component. The excess Hα absorption detected near the secondary minimum hints to the presence of cool material partially obscuring the primary star. The flux ratios of Ca II IRT excess emission indicate that the contribution of chromospheric plage regions associated with star-spots is dominant, even during the passage of the filament-like absorption feature.

  3. Recurrent star-spot activity and differential rotation in KIC 11560447

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özavcı, I.; Şenavcı, H. V.; Işık, E.; Hussain, G. A. J.; O'Neal, D.; Yılmaz, M.; Selam, S. O.

    2018-03-01

    We present a detailed analysis of surface inhomogeneities on the K1-type subgiant component of the rapidly rotating eclipsing binary KIC 11560447, using high-precision Kepler light curves spanning nearly 4 yr, which corresponds to about 2800 orbital revolutions. We determine the system parameters precisely, using high-resolution spectra from the 2.1-m Otto Struve Telescope at the McDonald Observatory. We apply the maximum entropy method to reconstruct the relative longitudinal spot occupancy. Our numerical tests show that the procedure can recover large-scale random distributions of individually unresolved spots, and it can track the phase migration of up to three major spot clusters. By determining the drift rates of various spotted regions in orbital longitude, we suggest a way to constrain surface differential rotation and we show that the results are consistent with periodograms. The K1IV star exhibits two mildly preferred longitudes of emergence, indications of solar-like differential rotation, and a 0.5-1.3-yr recurrence period in star-spot emergence, accompanied by a secular increase in the axisymmetric component of spot occupancy.

  4. THE HOT-JUPITER KEPLER-17b: DISCOVERY, OBLIQUITY FROM STROBOSCOPIC STARSPOTS, AND ATMOSPHERIC CHARACTERIZATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Désert, Jean-Michel; Charbonneau, David; Ballard, Sarah; Carter, Joshua A.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Fressin, François; Latham, David W.; Torres, Guillermo; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael; Isaacson, Howard T.; Knutson, Heather A.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Borucki, William J.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Brown, Timothy M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports the discovery and characterization of the transiting hot giant exoplanet Kepler-17b. The planet has an orbital period of 1.486 days, and radial velocity measurements from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope show a Doppler signal of 419.5 +13.3 –15.6 m s –1 . From a transit-based estimate of the host star's mean density, combined with an estimate of the stellar effective temperature T eff = 5630 ± 100 from high-resolution spectra, we infer a stellar host mass of 1.06 ± 0.07 M ☉ and a stellar radius of 1.02 ± 0.03 R ☉ . We estimate the planet mass and radius to be M P = 2.45 ± 0.11 M J and R P = 1.31 ± 0.02 R J . The host star is active, with dark spots that are frequently occulted by the planet. The continuous monitoring of the star reveals a stellar rotation period of 11.89 days, eight times the planet's orbital period; this period ratio produces stroboscopic effects on the occulted starspots. The temporal pattern of these spot-crossing events shows that the planet's orbit is prograde and the star's obliquity is smaller than 15°. We detected planetary occultations of Kepler-17b with both the Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes. We use these observations to constrain the eccentricity, e, and find that it is consistent with a circular orbit (e 3.6μm = 1880 ± 100 K and T 4.5μm = 1770 ± 150 K. We measure the optical geometric albedo A g in the Kepler bandpass and find A g = 0.10 ± 0.02. The observations are best described by atmospheric models for which most of the incident energy is re-radiated away from the day side.

  5. THE HOT-JUPITER KEPLER-17b: DISCOVERY, OBLIQUITY FROM STROBOSCOPIC STARSPOTS, AND ATMOSPHERIC CHARACTERIZATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Desert, Jean-Michel; Charbonneau, David; Ballard, Sarah; Carter, Joshua A.; Quinn, Samuel N.; Fressin, Francois; Latham, David W.; Torres, Guillermo [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Demory, Brice-Olivier [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02159 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Cochran, William D.; Endl, Michael [Department of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin (United States); Isaacson, Howard T.; Knutson, Heather A. [Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States); Buchhave, Lars A. [Neils Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, DK-2100 Denmark (Denmark); Bryson, Stephen T.; Rowe, Jason F.; Borucki, William J. [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Batalha, Natalie M. [San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192 (United States); Brown, Timothy M., E-mail: jdesert@cfa.harvard.edu [Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, Goleta, CA 93117 (United States); and others

    2011-11-01

    This paper reports the discovery and characterization of the transiting hot giant exoplanet Kepler-17b. The planet has an orbital period of 1.486 days, and radial velocity measurements from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope show a Doppler signal of 419.5{sup +13.3}{sub -15.6} m s{sup -1}. From a transit-based estimate of the host star's mean density, combined with an estimate of the stellar effective temperature T{sub eff} = 5630 {+-} 100 from high-resolution spectra, we infer a stellar host mass of 1.06 {+-} 0.07 M{sub Sun} and a stellar radius of 1.02 {+-} 0.03 R{sub Sun }. We estimate the planet mass and radius to be M{sub P} = 2.45 {+-} 0.11 M{sub J} and R{sub P} = 1.31 {+-} 0.02 R{sub J}. The host star is active, with dark spots that are frequently occulted by the planet. The continuous monitoring of the star reveals a stellar rotation period of 11.89 days, eight times the planet's orbital period; this period ratio produces stroboscopic effects on the occulted starspots. The temporal pattern of these spot-crossing events shows that the planet's orbit is prograde and the star's obliquity is smaller than 15 Degree-Sign . We detected planetary occultations of Kepler-17b with both the Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes. We use these observations to constrain the eccentricity, e, and find that it is consistent with a circular orbit (e < 0.011). The brightness temperatures of the planet's infrared bandpasses are T{sub 3.6{mu}m} = 1880 {+-} 100 K and T{sub 4.5{mu}m} = 1770 {+-} 150 K. We measure the optical geometric albedo A{sub g} in the Kepler bandpass and find A{sub g} = 0.10 {+-} 0.02. The observations are best described by atmospheric models for which most of the incident energy is re-radiated away from the day side.

  6. Surprisingly different star-spot distributions on the near equal-mass equal-rotation-rate stars in the M dwarf binary GJ 65 AB

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, J. R.; Jeffers, S. V.; Haswell, C. A.; Jones, H. R. A.; Shulyak, D.; Pavlenko, Ya. V.; Jenkins, J. S.

    2017-10-01

    We aim to understand how stellar parameters such as mass and rotation impact the distribution of star-spots on the stellar surface. To this purpose, we have used Doppler imaging to reconstruct the surface brightness distributions of three fully convective M dwarfs with similar rotation rates. We secured high cadence spectral time series observations of the 5.5 au separation binary GJ 65, comprising GJ 65A (M5.5V, Prot = 0.24 d) and GJ 65B (M6V, Prot = 0.23 d). We also present new observations of GJ 791.2A (M4.5V, Prot = 0.31 d). Observations of each star were made on two nights with UVES, covering a wavelength range from 0.64 - 1.03μm. The time series spectra reveal multiple line distortions that we interpret as cool star-spots and which are persistent on both nights suggesting stability on the time-scale of 3 d. Spots are recovered with resolutions down to 8.3° at the equator. The global spot distributions for GJ 791.2A are similar to observations made a year earlier. Similar high latitude and circumpolar spot structure is seen on GJ 791.2A and GJ 65A. However, they are surprisingly absent on GJ 65B, which instead reveals more extensive, larger, spots concentrated at intermediate latitudes. All three stars show small amplitude latitude-dependent rotation that is consistent with solid body rotation. We compare our measurements of differential rotation with previous Doppler imaging studies and discuss the results in the wider context of other observational estimates and recent theoretical predictions.

  7. Starspots on the fastest rotators in the β Pictoris moving group

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Alvarez, D.; Lanza, A. F.; Messina, S.; Drake, J. J.; van Wyk, F.; Shobbrook, R. R.; Butler, C. J.; Kilkenny, D.; Doyle, J. G.; Kashyap, V. L.

    2011-09-01

    Aims: We carried out high-resolution spectroscopy and BV(I)C photometric monitoring of the two fastest late-type rotators in the nearby β Pictoris moving group, HD 199143 (F7V) and CD-64°1208 (K7V). The motivation for this work is to investigate the rotation periods and photospheric spot patterns of these very young stars, with a longer term view to probing the evolution of rotation and magnetic activity during the early phases of main-sequence evolution. We also aim to derive information on key physical parameters, such as rotational velocity and rotation period. Methods: We applied maximum entropy (ME) and Tikhonov regularizing (TR) criteria to derive the surface spot map distributions of the optical modulation observed in HD 199143 (F7 V) and CD-64°1208 (K7 V). We also used cross-correlation techniques to determine stellar parameters such as radial velocities and rotational velocities. Lomb-Scargle periodograms were used to obtain the rotational periods from differential magnitude time series. Results: We find periods and inclinations of 0.356 days and 21.5 deg for HD 199143, and 0.355 days and 50.1 deg for CD-64°1208. The spot maps of HD 199143 obtained from the ME and TR methods are very similar, although the latter gives a smoother distribution of the filling factor. Maps obtained at two different epochs three weeks apart show a remarkable increase in spot coverage amounting to ~7% of the surface of the photosphere over a time period of only ~20 days. The spot maps of CD-64°1208 from the two methods show good longitudinal agreement, whereas the latitude range of the spots is extended to cover the whole visible hemisphere in the TR map. The distributions obtained from the first light curve of HD 199143 show the presence of an extended and asymmetric active longitude with the maximum filling factor at longitude ~325°. A secondary active longitude is present at ~100°. The spotted area distributions on CD-64°1208 show two active longitudes separated by about 180°, which is not unusual on such very active stars. Figures 7-10 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  8. IMAGING STARSPOT EVOLUTION ON KEPLER TARGET KIC 5110407 USING LIGHT-CURVE INVERSION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roettenbacher, Rachael M.; Monnier, John D.; Harmon, Robert O.; Barclay, Thomas; Still, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The Kepler target KIC 5110407, a K-type star, shows strong quasi-periodic light curve fluctuations likely arising from the formation and decay of spots on the stellar surface rotating with a period of 3.4693 days. Using an established light-curve inversion algorithm, we study the evolution of the surface features based on Kepler space telescope light curves over a period of two years (with a gap of .25 years). At virtually all epochs, we detect at least one large spot group on the surface causing a 1%-10% flux modulation in the Kepler passband. By identifying and tracking spot groups over a range of inferred latitudes, we measured the surface differential rotation to be much smaller than that found for the Sun. We also searched for a correlation between the 17 stellar flares that occurred during our observations and the orientation of the dominant surface spot at the time of each flare. No statistically significant correlation was found except perhaps for the very brightest flares, suggesting that most flares are associated with regions devoid of spots or spots too small to be clearly discerned using our reconstruction technique. While we may see hints of long-term changes in the spot characteristics and flare statistics within our current data set, a longer baseline of observation will be needed to detect the existence of a magnetic cycle in KIC 5110407.

  9. GJ 1214: Rotation period, starspots, and uncertainty on the optical slope of the transmission spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallonn, M.; Herrero, E.; Juvan, I. G.; Essen, C. von; Rosich, A.; Ribas, I.; Granzer, T.; Alexoudi, X.; Strassmeier, K. G.

    2018-06-01

    Aims: Brightness inhomogeneities in the stellar photosphere (dark spots or bright regions) affect the measurements of the planetary transmission spectrum. To investigate the star spots of the M dwarf GJ 1214, we conducted a multicolor photometric monitoring from 2012 to 2016. Methods: The time-series photometry was analyzed with the light curve inversion tool StarSim. Using the derived stellar surface properties from the light curve inversion, we modeled the impact of the star spots when unocculted by the transiting planet. We compared the photometric variability of GJ 1214 to published results of mid- to late M dwarfs from the MEarth sample. Results: The measured variability shows a periodicity of 125 ± 5 days, which we interpret as the signature of the stellar rotation period. This value overrules previous suggestions of a significantly shorter stellar rotation period. A light curve inversion of the monitoring data yields an estimation of the flux dimming of a permanent spot filling factor not contributing to the photometric variability, a temperature contrast of the spots of 370 K and persistent active longitudes. The derived surface maps over all five seasons were used to estimate the influence of the star spots on the transmission spectrum of the planet from 400 to 2000 nm. The monitoring data presented here do not support a recent interpretation of a measured transmission spectrum of GJ 1214b as to be caused by bright regions in the stellar photosphere. Instead, we list arguments as to why the effect of dark spots likely dominated over bright regions in the period of our monitoring. Furthermore, our photometry proves an increase in variability over at least four years, indicative for a cyclic activity behavior. The age of GJ 1214 is likely between 6 and 10 Gyr. Conclusions: The long-term photometry allows for a correction of unocculted spots. For an active star such as GJ 1214, there remains a degeneracy between occulted spots and the transit parameters used to build the transmission spectrum. This degeneracy can only be broken by high-precision transit photometry resolving the spot crossing signature in the transit light curve. Based on data obtained with the STELLA robotic telescopes in Tenerife, an AIP facility jointly operated by AIP and IAC.The photometry tables are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/614/A35

  10. The Effect of Starspots on Accurate Radius Determination of the Low-Mass Double-Lined Eclipsing Binary Gu Boo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windmiller, G.; Orosz, J. A.; Etzel, P. B.

    2010-04-01

    GU Boo is one of only a relatively small number of well-studied double-lined eclipsing binaries that contain low-mass stars. López-Morales & Ribas present a comprehensive analysis of multi-color light and radial velocity curves for this system. The GU Boo light curves presented by López-Morales & Ribas had substantial asymmetries, which were attributed to large spots. In spite of the asymmetry, López-Morales & Ribas derived masses and radii accurate to sime2%. We obtained additional photometry of GU Boo using both a CCD and a single-channel photometer and modeled the light curves with the ELC software to determine if the large spots in the light curves give rise to systematic errors at the few percent level. We also modeled the original light curves from the work of López-Morales & Ribas using models with and without spots. We derived a radius of the primary of 0.6329 ± 0.0026 R sun, 0.6413 ± 0.0049 R sun, and 0.6373 ± 0.0029 R sun from the CCD, photoelectric, and López-Morales & Ribas data, respectively. Each of these measurements agrees with the value reported by López-Morales & Ribas (R 1 = 0.623 ± 0.016 R sun) at the level of ≈2%. In addition, the spread in these values is ≈1%-2% from the mean. For the secondary, we derive radii of 0.6074 ± 0.0035 R sun, 0.5944 ± 0.0069 R sun, and 0.5976 ± 0.0059 R sun from the three respective data sets. The López-Morales & Ribas value is R 2 = 0.620 ± 0.020 R sun, which is ≈2%-3% larger than each of the three values we found. The spread in these values is ≈2% from the mean. The systematic difference between our three determinations of the secondary radius and that of López-Morales & Ribas might be attributed to differences in the modeling process and codes used. Our own fits suggest that, for GU Boo at least, using accurate spot modeling of a single set of multi-color light curves results in radii determinations accurate at the ≈2% level.

  11. THE EFFECT OF STARSPOTS ON ACCURATE RADIUS DETERMINATION OF THE LOW-MASS DOUBLE-LINED ECLIPSING BINARY GU Boo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Windmiller, G.; Orosz, J. A.; Etzel, P. B.

    2010-01-01

    GU Boo is one of only a relatively small number of well-studied double-lined eclipsing binaries that contain low-mass stars. Lopez-Morales and Ribas present a comprehensive analysis of multi-color light and radial velocity curves for this system. The GU Boo light curves presented by Lopez-Morales and Ribas had substantial asymmetries, which were attributed to large spots. In spite of the asymmetry, Lopez-Morales and Ribas derived masses and radii accurate to ≅2%. We obtained additional photometry of GU Boo using both a CCD and a single-channel photometer and modeled the light curves with the ELC software to determine if the large spots in the light curves give rise to systematic errors at the few percent level. We also modeled the original light curves from the work of Lopez-Morales and Ribas using models with and without spots. We derived a radius of the primary of 0.6329 ± 0.0026 R sun , 0.6413 ± 0.0049 R sun , and 0.6373 ± 0.0029 R sun from the CCD, photoelectric, and Lopez-Morales and Ribas data, respectively. Each of these measurements agrees with the value reported by Lopez-Morales and Ribas (R 1 = 0.623 ± 0.016 R sun ) at the level of ∼2%. In addition, the spread in these values is ∼1%-2% from the mean. For the secondary, we derive radii of 0.6074 ± 0.0035 R sun , 0.5944 ± 0.0069 R sun , and 0.5976 ± 0.0059 R sun from the three respective data sets. The Lopez-Morales and Ribas value is R 2 = 0.620 ± 0.020 R sun , which is ∼2%-3% larger than each of the three values we found. The spread in these values is ∼2% from the mean. The systematic difference between our three determinations of the secondary radius and that of Lopez-Morales and Ribas might be attributed to differences in the modeling process and codes used. Our own fits suggest that, for GU Boo at least, using accurate spot modeling of a single set of multi-color light curves results in radii determinations accurate at the ∼2% level.

  12. Acne at The Bottom Of The Main Sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, John; Haswell, C.; Jenkins, J.; Jeffers, S.; Jones, H. R. A.; Lohr, M.; Pavlenko, Y.

    2016-08-01

    Starspots are an important manifestation of stellar activity and yet their distribution patterns on the lowest mass stars is not well known. Time series spectra of fully convective M dwarfs taken in the red-optical with UVES reveal numerous line profile distortions which are interpreted as starspots. We derive Doppler images for four M4.5V - M9V stars and find that contrast ratios corresponding to photosphere-spot temperature differences of only 200-300 K are sufficient to model the timeseries spectra. Although more starspot structure is found at high latitudes, spots are reconstructed at a range of phases and latitudes with mean spot filling factors of only a few per cent. The occurrence of low-contrast spots at predominantly high latitudes is in general likely to be responsible for the low amplitude photometric variability seen in late-M dwarfs. The recovered starspot patterns are used to assess their effect on precision radial velocity surveys aimed at detecting planets around this population of stars.

  13. THE INFORMATION CONTENT IN ANALYTIC SPOT MODELS OF BROADBAND PRECISION LIGHT CURVES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walkowicz, Lucianne M. [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Peyton Hall, 4 Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08534 (United States); Basri, Gibor [Astronomy Department, University of California at Berkeley, Hearst Field Annex, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Valenti, Jeff A. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2013-04-01

    We present the results of numerical experiments to assess degeneracies in light curve models of starspots. Using synthetic light curves generated with the Cheetah starspot modeling code, we explore the extent to which photometric light curves constrain spot model parameters, including spot latitudes and stellar inclination. We also investigate the effects of spot parameters and differential rotation on one's ability to correctly recover rotation periods and differential rotation in the Kepler light curves. We confirm that in the absence of additional constraints on the stellar inclination, such as spectroscopic measurements of vsin i or occultations of starspots by planetary transits, the spot latitude and stellar inclination are difficult to determine uniquely from the photometry alone. We find that for models with no differential rotation, spots that appear on opposite hemispheres of the star may cause one to interpret the rotation period to be half of the true period. When differential rotation is included, the changing longitude separation between spots breaks the symmetry of the hemispheres and the correct rotation period is more likely to be found. The dominant period found via periodogram analysis is typically that of the largest spot. Even when multiple spots with periods representative of the star's differential rotation exist, if one spot dominates the light curve the signal of differential rotation may not be detectable from the periodogram alone. Starspot modeling is applicable to stars with a wider range of rotation rates than other surface imaging techniques (such as Doppler imaging), allows subtle signatures of differential rotation to be measured, and may provide valuable information on the distribution of stellar spots. However, given the inherent degeneracies and uncertainty present in starspot models, caution should be exercised in their interpretation.

  14. THE INFORMATION CONTENT IN ANALYTIC SPOT MODELS OF BROADBAND PRECISION LIGHT CURVES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walkowicz, Lucianne M.; Basri, Gibor; Valenti, Jeff A.

    2013-01-01

    We present the results of numerical experiments to assess degeneracies in light curve models of starspots. Using synthetic light curves generated with the Cheetah starspot modeling code, we explore the extent to which photometric light curves constrain spot model parameters, including spot latitudes and stellar inclination. We also investigate the effects of spot parameters and differential rotation on one's ability to correctly recover rotation periods and differential rotation in the Kepler light curves. We confirm that in the absence of additional constraints on the stellar inclination, such as spectroscopic measurements of vsin i or occultations of starspots by planetary transits, the spot latitude and stellar inclination are difficult to determine uniquely from the photometry alone. We find that for models with no differential rotation, spots that appear on opposite hemispheres of the star may cause one to interpret the rotation period to be half of the true period. When differential rotation is included, the changing longitude separation between spots breaks the symmetry of the hemispheres and the correct rotation period is more likely to be found. The dominant period found via periodogram analysis is typically that of the largest spot. Even when multiple spots with periods representative of the star's differential rotation exist, if one spot dominates the light curve the signal of differential rotation may not be detectable from the periodogram alone. Starspot modeling is applicable to stars with a wider range of rotation rates than other surface imaging techniques (such as Doppler imaging), allows subtle signatures of differential rotation to be measured, and may provide valuable information on the distribution of stellar spots. However, given the inherent degeneracies and uncertainty present in starspot models, caution should be exercised in their interpretation.

  15. Relation between radio luminosity and rotation for late-type stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stewart, R.T.; Innis, J.L.; Slee, O.B.; Nelson, G.J.; Wright, A.E.

    1988-01-01

    A relation is found between peak radio luminosities measured at 8 GHz and the rotational velocity of 51 late-type F, G, and K stars (including the sun). The sample includes both single stars and active components of close binary systems, with equatorial surface velocities ranging from 1 to 100 km/s. A gyrosynchrotron source model originally developed to explain solar microwave bursts could explain the relation. The main parameter depending on rotation rate is the filling factor, i.e., the fraction of the stellar surface and corona occupied by intense magnetic fields. As the rotation speed increases, the scale size of the coronal structures emitting microwave gyrosynchrotron radiation increases, and there is a corresponding increase in the area of the surface covered by intense starspot magnetic fields. However, the peak magnetic field of the starspots probably does not increase significantly above observed sunspot values. 47 references

  16. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Transiting planet WASP-6b (Tregloan-Reed+, 2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tregloan-Reed, J.; Southworth, J.; Burgdorf, M.; Calchi Novati, S.; Dominik, M.; Finet, F.; Jorgensen, U. G.; Maier, G.; Mancini, L.; Prof, S.; Ricci, D.; Snodgrass, C.; Bozza, V.; Browne, P.; Dodds, P.; Gerner, T.; Harpsoe, K.; Hinse, T. C.; Hundertmark, M.; Kains, N.; Kerins, E.; Liebig, C.; Penny, M. T.; Rahvar, S.; Sahu, K.; Scarpetta, G.; Schafer, S.; Schonebeck, F.; Skottfelt, J.; Surdej, J.

    2018-05-01

    Four light curves of transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-6 are presented. They were obtained using the Danish 1.54m telescope at ESO La Silla, Chile, in the Bessell R passband. The errorbars for each transit have been scaled so the best-fitting model (obtained using the JKTEBOP code and without accounting for the presence of starspots) has a reduced chi-squared value of 1.0. (1 data file).

  17. KEPLER-63b: A GIANT PLANET IN A POLAR ORBIT AROUND A YOUNG SUN-LIKE STAR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Winn, Joshua N.; Albrecht, Simon; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Johnson, John Asher; Torres, Guillermo; Carter, Joshua A.; Dawson, Rebekah I.; Geary, John C.; Campante, Tiago L.; Chaplin, William J.; Davies, Guy R.; Lund, Mikkel N.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Everett, Mark E.; Fischer, Debra A.; Gilliland, Ronald L.; Horch, Elliott P.

    2013-01-01

    We present the discovery and characterization of a giant planet orbiting the young Sun-like star Kepler-63 (KOI-63, m Kp = 11.6, T eff = 5576 K, M * = 0.98 M ☉ ). The planet transits every 9.43 days, with apparent depth variations and brightening anomalies caused by large starspots. The planet's radius is 6.1 ± 0.2 R ⊕ , based on the transit light curve and the estimated stellar parameters. The planet's mass could not be measured with the existing radial-velocity data, due to the high level of stellar activity, but if we assume a circular orbit, then we can place a rough upper bound of 120 M ⊕ (3σ). The host star has a high obliquity (ψ = 104°), based on the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect and an analysis of starspot-crossing events. This result is valuable because almost all previous obliquity measurements are for stars with more massive planets and shorter-period orbits. In addition, the polar orbit of the planet combined with an analysis of spot-crossing events reveals a large and persistent polar starspot. Such spots have previously been inferred using Doppler tomography, and predicted in simulations of magnetic activity of young Sun-like stars

  18. KEPLER-63b: A GIANT PLANET IN A POLAR ORBIT AROUND A YOUNG SUN-LIKE STAR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Winn, Joshua N.; Albrecht, Simon [Department of Physics, and Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard [Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Howard, Andrew W. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Johnson, John Asher [Department of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Torres, Guillermo; Carter, Joshua A.; Dawson, Rebekah I.; Geary, John C. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Campante, Tiago L.; Chaplin, William J.; Davies, Guy R. [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT (United Kingdom); Lund, Mikkel N. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre (SAC), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Buchhave, Lars A. [Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries vej 30, DK-2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Everett, Mark E. [National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Fischer, Debra A. [Astronomy Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT (United States); Gilliland, Ronald L. [Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Horch, Elliott P. [Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515 (United States); and others

    2013-09-20

    We present the discovery and characterization of a giant planet orbiting the young Sun-like star Kepler-63 (KOI-63, m{sub Kp} = 11.6, T{sub eff} = 5576 K, M{sub *} = 0.98 M{sub ☉}). The planet transits every 9.43 days, with apparent depth variations and brightening anomalies caused by large starspots. The planet's radius is 6.1 ± 0.2 R{sub ⊕}, based on the transit light curve and the estimated stellar parameters. The planet's mass could not be measured with the existing radial-velocity data, due to the high level of stellar activity, but if we assume a circular orbit, then we can place a rough upper bound of 120 M{sub ⊕} (3σ). The host star has a high obliquity (ψ = 104°), based on the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect and an analysis of starspot-crossing events. This result is valuable because almost all previous obliquity measurements are for stars with more massive planets and shorter-period orbits. In addition, the polar orbit of the planet combined with an analysis of spot-crossing events reveals a large and persistent polar starspot. Such spots have previously been inferred using Doppler tomography, and predicted in simulations of magnetic activity of young Sun-like stars.

  19. macula: Rotational modulations in the photometry of spotted stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipping, David M.

    2012-09-01

    Photometric rotational modulations due to starspots remain the most common and accessible way to study stellar activity. Modelling rotational modulations allows one to invert the observations into several basic parameters, such as the rotation period, spot coverage, stellar inclination and differential rotation rate. The most widely used analytic model for this inversion comes from Budding (1977) and Dorren (1987), who considered circular, grey starspots for a linearly limb darkened star. That model is extended to be more suitable in the analysis of high precision photometry such as that by Kepler. Macula, a Fortran 90 code, provides several improvements, such as non-linear limb darkening of the star and spot, a single-domain analytic function, partial derivatives for all input parameters, temporal partial derivatives, diluted light compensation, instrumental offset normalisations, differential rotation, starspot evolution and predictions of transit depth variations due to unocculted spots. The inclusion of non-linear limb darkening means macula has a maximum photometric error an order-of-magnitude less than that of Dorren (1987) for Sun-like stars observed in the Kepler-bandpass. The code executes three orders-of-magnitude faster than comparable numerical codes making it well-suited for inference problems.

  20. PyTranSpot: A tool for multiband light curve modeling of planetary transits and stellar spots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juvan, Ines G.; Lendl, M.; Cubillos, P. E.; Fossati, L.; Tregloan-Reed, J.; Lammer, H.; Guenther, E. W.; Hanslmeier, A.

    2018-02-01

    Several studies have shown that stellar activity features, such as occulted and non-occulted starspots, can affect the measurement of transit parameters biasing studies of transit timing variations and transmission spectra. We present PyTranSpot, which we designed to model multiband transit light curves showing starspot anomalies, inferring both transit and spot parameters. The code follows a pixellation approach to model the star with its corresponding limb darkening, spots, and transiting planet on a two dimensional Cartesian coordinate grid. We combine PyTranSpot with a Markov chain Monte Carlo framework to study and derive exoplanet transmission spectra, which provides statistically robust values for the physical properties and uncertainties of a transiting star-planet system. We validate PyTranSpot's performance by analyzing eleven synthetic light curves of four different star-planet systems and 20 transit light curves of the well-studied WASP-41b system. We also investigate the impact of starspots on transit parameters and derive wavelength dependent transit depth values for WASP-41b covering a range of 6200-9200 Å, indicating a flat transmission spectrum.

  1. KEPLER FLARES. I. ACTIVE AND INACTIVE M DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hawley, Suzanne L.; Davenport, James R. A.; Kowalski, Adam F.; Wisniewski, John P.; Deitrick, Russell; Hilton, Eric J. [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Hebb, Leslie, E-mail: slhawley@uw.edu [Department of Physics, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 300 Pulteney Street, Geneva, NY 14456 (United States)

    2014-12-20

    We analyzed Kepler short-cadence M dwarf observations. Spectra from the Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5 m telescope identify magnetically active (Hα in emission) stars. The active stars are of mid-M spectral type, have numerous flares, and have well-defined rotational modulation due to starspots. The inactive stars are of early M type, exhibit less starspot signature, and have fewer flares. A Kepler to U-band energy scaling allows comparison of the Kepler flare frequency distributions with previous ground-based data. M dwarfs span a large range of flare frequency and energy, blurring the distinction between active and inactive stars designated solely by the presence of Hα. We analyzed classical and complex (multiple peak) flares on GJ 1243, finding strong correlations between flare energy, amplitude, duration, and decay time, with only a weak dependence on rise time. Complex flares last longer and have higher energy at the same amplitude, and higher energy flares are more likely to be complex. A power law fits the energy distribution for flares with log E{sub K{sub p}}> 31 erg, but the predicted number of low-energy flares far exceeds the number observed, at energies where flares are still easily detectable, indicating that the power-law distribution may flatten at low energy. There is no correlation of flare occurrence or energy with starspot phase, the flare waiting time distribution is consistent with flares occurring randomly in time, and the energies of consecutive flares are uncorrelated. These observations support a scenario where many independent active regions on the stellar surface are contributing to the observed flare rate.

  2. Line-depth-ratio temperatures for the close binary ν Octantis: new evidence supporting the conjectured circumstellar retrograde planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramm, D. J.

    2015-06-01

    We explore the possibly that either star-spots or pulsations are the cause of a periodic radial velocity (RV) signal (P ˜ 400 d) from the K-giant binary ν Octantis (P ˜ 1050 d, e ˜ 0.25), alternatively conjectured to have a retrograde planet. Our study is based on temperatures derived from 22 line-depth ratios (LDRs) for ν Oct and 20 calibration stars. Empirical evidence and stability modelling provide unexpected support for the planet since other standard explanations (star-spots, pulsations and additional stellar masses) each have credibility problems. However, the proposed system presents formidable challenges to planet formation and stability theories: it has by far the smallest stellar separation of any claimed planet-harbouring binary (a_{_bin} ˜ 2.6 au) and an equally unbelievable separation ratio (a_{_pl}/a_{_bin} ˜ 0.5), hence the necessity that the circumstellar orbit be retrograde. The LDR analysis of 215 ν Oct spectra acquired between 2001 and 2007, from which the RV perturbation was first revealed, have no significant periodicity at any frequency. The LDRs recover the original 21 stellar temperatures with an average accuracy of 45 ± 25 K. The 215 ν Oct temperatures have a standard deviation of only 4.2 K. Assuming the host primary is not pulsating, the temperatures converted to magnitude differences strikingly mimic the very stable photometric Hipparcos observations 15 years previously, implying the long-term stability of the star and demonstrating a novel use of LDRs as a photometric gauge. Our results provide substantial new evidence that conventional star-spots and pulsations are unlikely causes of the RV perturbation. The controversial system deserves continued attention, including with higher resolving-power spectra for bisector and LDR analyses.

  3. KEPLER FLARES. I. ACTIVE AND INACTIVE M DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hawley, Suzanne L.; Davenport, James R. A.; Kowalski, Adam F.; Wisniewski, John P.; Deitrick, Russell; Hilton, Eric J.; Hebb, Leslie

    2014-01-01

    We analyzed Kepler short-cadence M dwarf observations. Spectra from the Astrophysical Research Consortium 3.5 m telescope identify magnetically active (Hα in emission) stars. The active stars are of mid-M spectral type, have numerous flares, and have well-defined rotational modulation due to starspots. The inactive stars are of early M type, exhibit less starspot signature, and have fewer flares. A Kepler to U-band energy scaling allows comparison of the Kepler flare frequency distributions with previous ground-based data. M dwarfs span a large range of flare frequency and energy, blurring the distinction between active and inactive stars designated solely by the presence of Hα. We analyzed classical and complex (multiple peak) flares on GJ 1243, finding strong correlations between flare energy, amplitude, duration, and decay time, with only a weak dependence on rise time. Complex flares last longer and have higher energy at the same amplitude, and higher energy flares are more likely to be complex. A power law fits the energy distribution for flares with log E K p > 31 erg, but the predicted number of low-energy flares far exceeds the number observed, at energies where flares are still easily detectable, indicating that the power-law distribution may flatten at low energy. There is no correlation of flare occurrence or energy with starspot phase, the flare waiting time distribution is consistent with flares occurring randomly in time, and the energies of consecutive flares are uncorrelated. These observations support a scenario where many independent active regions on the stellar surface are contributing to the observed flare rate

  4. Long-term behavior of stellar flare activity in AD Leo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pettersen, B.R.

    1984-01-01

    AD Leo is a dM4e solar neighborhood red dwarf on the main sequence. It has an effective temperature of 3500 0 K, radius of 0.44 R/sub solar/ and a bolomeric luminosity of 0.024 L/sub solar/. The mass-luminosity relation implies a mass of 0.44 M/sub solar/. Photometry of starspots indicates a rotation period of 2.7 days implying that the rotation axis of AD Leo is inclined 38 0 to the line of sight

  5. Tests of the planetary hypothesis for PTFO 8-8695b

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yu, Liang; Winn, Joshua N.; Gillon, Michaël

    2015-01-01

    The T Tauri star PTFO 8-8695 exhibits periodic fading events that have been interpreted as the transits of a giant planet on a precessing orbit. Here we present three tests of the planet hypothesis. First, we sought evidence for the secular changes in light-curve morphology that are predicted...... planetary orbit. Our spectroscopy also revealed strong, time-variable, high-velocity H{\\alpha} and Ca H & K emission features. All these observations cast doubt on the planetary hypothesis, and suggest instead that the fading events represent starspots, eclipses by circumstellar dust, or occultations...

  6. Photometric monitoring of pre-main sequence stars - 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evans, A.; Davies, J.K.; Kilkenny, D.; Bode, M.F.

    1989-01-01

    A discussion is presented of the infrared and optical photometric variability of the pre-main sequence stars BF Ori and UX Ori. In the former case, the reddening that occurs during decline, at both optical and infrared wavelengths, is consistent with variable extinction by circumstellar grains having an interstellar-like reddening law. While in the case of UX Ori, the data suggest variability due to starspots. In both cases, a study of the polarimetric variability would be valuable to confirm these conclusions. (author)

  7. Differential rotation of stars with multiple transiting planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Netto, Yuri; Valio, Adriana

    2017-10-01

    If a star hosts a planet in an orbit such that it eclipses the star periodically, can be estimated the rotation profile of this star. If planets in multiplanetary system occult different stellar areas, spots in more than one latitude of the stellar disc can be detected. The monitored study of theses starspots in different latitudes allow us to infer the rotation profile of the star. We use the model described in Silva (2003) to characterize the starspots of Kepler-210, an active star with two planets. Kepler-210 is a late K star with an estimated age of 350 +/- 50 Myrs, average rotation period of 12.33 days, mass of 0.63 M⊙ and radius of 0.69 R⊙. The planets that eclipses this star have radii of 0.0498 R s and 0.0635 R s with orbital periods of 2.4532 +/- 0.0007 days and 7.9725 +/- 0.0014 days, respectively, where R s is the star radius.

  8. Dippers and dusty disc edges: new diagnostics and comparison to model predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodman, Eva H. L.; Quillen, Alice C.; Ansdell, Megan; Hippke, Michael; Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Mamajek, Eric E.; Blackman, Eric G.; Rizzuto, Aaron; Kastner, Joel H.

    2017-09-01

    We revisit the nature of large dips in flux from extinction by dusty circumstellar material that is observed by Kepler for many young stars in the Upper Sco and ρ Oph star formation regions. These young, low-mass 'dipper' stars are known to have low accretion rates and primarily host moderately evolved dusty circumstellar discs. Young low-mass stars often exhibit rotating starspots that cause quasi-periodic photometric variations. We found no evidence for periods associated with the dips that are different from the starspot rotation period in spectrograms constructed from the light curves. The material causing the dips in most of these light curves must be approximately corotating with the star. We find that disc temperatures computed at the disc corotation radius are cool enough that dust should not sublime. Crude estimates for stellar magnetic field strengths and accretion rates are consistent with magnetospheric truncation near the corotation radius. Magnetospheric truncation models can explain why the dips are associated with material near corotation and how dusty material is lifted out of the mid-plane to obscure the star that would account for the large fraction of young low-mass stars that are dippers. We propose that variations in disc orientation angle, stellar magnetic field dipole tilt axis and disc accretion rate are underlying parameters accounting for differences in the dipper light curves.

  9. Directivity of the radio emission from the K1 dwarf star AB Doradus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Jeremy; White, Stephen M.; Nelson, Graam J.; Benz, Arnold O.

    1994-01-01

    We present measurements of the spectrum and polarization of the flaring radio emission from the K1 dwarf star AB Doradus, together with previously reported single frequency measurements (with no polarization information) on 3 other days. On all 4 days spanning a 6 month period, the emission was strong and, when folded with the stellar rotation period, showed similar time variations with two prominant peaks at phase 0.35 and 0.75. These peaks coincide in longitude with two large starspots identified from the stellar optical light curve and have half-powe widths as small as 0.1 rotations and no larger than 0.2 rotations. The modulated emission shows no measurable circular polarization, and its two peaks have different turnover frequencies.

  10. Chromospherically active stars. 13: HD 30957: A double lined K dwarf binary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fekel, Francis C.; Dadonas, Virgilijus; Sperauskas, Julius; Vaccaro, Todd R.; Patterson, L. Ronald

    1994-01-01

    HD 30957 is a double-lined spectroscopic binary with a period of 44.395 days and a modest eccentricity of 0.09. The spectral types of the components are K2-3 V and K5 V. The measured v sin i for both components is less than or equal to 3 km/s and the orbital inclination is estimated to be 69 deg. The system is relatively nearby with a parallax of 0.025 sec or a distance of 40 pc. Space motions of the system indicate that it does not belong to any of the known moving groups. Absolute surface fluxes of the Ca II H and K lines have been recomputed and indicate only modest chromospheric activity. If the stars are rotating pseudosynchronously, the lack of light variability is consistent with the value of the critical Rossby number for starspot activity.

  11. Some aspects of cool main sequence star ages derived from stellar rotation (gyrochronology)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, S. A.; Spada, F.; Weingrill, J.

    2016-09-01

    Rotation periods for cool stars can be measured with good precision by monitoring starspot light modulation. Observations have shown that the rotation periods of dwarf stars of roughly solar metallicity have such systematic dependencies on stellar age and mass that they can be used to derive reliable ages, a procedure called gyrochronology. We review the method and show illustrative cases, including recent ground- and space-based data. The age uncertainties approach 10 % in the best cases, making them a valuable complement to, and constraint on, asteroseismic or other ages. Edited, updated, and refereed version of a presentation at the WE-Heraeus-Seminar in Bad Honnef, Germany: Reconstructing the Milky Way's History: Spectroscopic Surveys, Asteroseismology and Chemodynamical Models

  12. A Photometric Study of Three Eclipsing Binary Stars (Poster abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, A.

    2016-12-01

    (Abstract only) As part of a program to study eclipsing binary stars that exhibit the O'Connell Effect (OCE) we are observing a selection of binary stars in a long term study. The OCE is a difference in maximum light across the ligthcurve possibly cause by starspots. We observed for 7 nights at McDonald Observatory using the 30-inch telescope in July 2015, and used the same telescope remotely for a total of 20 additional nights in August, October, December, and January. We will present lightcurves for three stars from this study, characterize the OCE for these stars, and present our model results for the physical parameters of the star making up each of these systems.

  13. Atmospheric activity in red dwarf stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pettersen, B.R.

    1986-01-01

    Active and inactive stars of similar mass and luminosity have similar physical conditions in their photospheres, outside of magnetically disturbed regions. Such field structures give rise to stellar activity, which manifests itself at all heights of the atmosphere. Observations of uneven distributions of flux across the stellar disc have led to the disovery of photospheric starspots, chromospheric plage areas, and coronal holes. Localized transient behavior has been identified in both thermal and non-thermal sources, such as flares, shock waves and particle acceleration. The common element to all active regions is the presence of strong magnetic field structures connecting the violently turbulent deep layers in the convection zones of stars with the tenuous outer atmospheres. Transport and dissipation of energy into the chromospheric and coronal regions are still much debated topics

  14. Solving the BM Camelopardalis puzzle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teke, Mathias; Busby, Michael R.; Hall, Douglas S.

    1989-01-01

    BM Camelopardalis (=12 Cam) is a chromospherically active binary star with a relatively large orbital eccentricity. Systems with large eccentricities usually rotate pseudosynchronously. However, BM Cam has been a puzzle since its observed rotation rate is virtually equal to its orbital period indicating synchronization. All available photometry data for BM Cam have been collected and analyzed. Two models of modulated ellipticity effect are proposed, one based on equilibrium tidal deformation of the primary star and the other on a dynamical tidal effect. When the starspot variability is removed from the data, the dynamical tidal model was the better approximation to the real physical situation. The analysis indicates that BM Cam is not rotating pseudosynchronously but rotating in virtual synchronism after all.

  15. Rotational Modulation and Activity Cycles at Rotational Extremes: 25 yrs of NURO Photometry for HII 1883

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milingo, Jackie; Saar, Steven; Marschall, Laurence

    2018-01-01

    We present a 25 yr compilation of V-band differential photometry for the Pleiades K dwarf HII 1883 (V660 Tau). HII 1883 has a rotational period of ~ 0.24 d and displays significant rotational modulation due to non-uniform surface brightness or "starspots". Preliminary work yields a cycle period of ~ 9 yrs and rotational shear (ΔP_rot/) considerably less than solar. HII 1883 is one of the fastest rotating single stars with a known cycle. With additional data available we compare newly determined P_cyc and ΔP_rot/ values with those of other stars, putting HII 1883 into the broader context of dynamo properties in single cool dwarfs.

  16. Observations of active-chromosphere stars: Pt. 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Innis, J.L.; Thompson, K.; Coates, D.W.; Evans, T.L.

    1988-01-01

    New photometric results are presented on the rapidly rotating late-type active star AB Dor. The rapid changes in the shape and range of the light curve noted previously by other workers are also seen in our data. Combining our observations with previously published material gives 18 light curves spanning late 1978 to early 1987. Our qualitative analysis of these data suggests that over this time AB Dor had two large, long-lived starspots. One spot was present in late 1979, and decayed almost completely over about three years. The other was present in late 1978, decayed and reappeared in late 1981. It then intensified to dominate the light curve in early 1984. The most recent light curve from 1987 January indicates a redevelopment of both spots. (author)

  17. AD Leonis: Radial Velocity Signal of Stellar Rotation or Spin–Orbit Resonance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuomi, Mikko; Jones, Hugh R. A.; Barnes, John R.; Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Butler, R. Paul; Kiraga, Marcin; Vogt, Steven S.

    2018-05-01

    AD Leonis is a nearby magnetically active M dwarf. We find Doppler variability with a period of 2.23 days, as well as photometric signals: (1) a short-period signal, which is similar to the radial velocity signal, albeit with considerable variability; and (2) a long-term activity cycle of 4070 ± 120 days. We examine the short-term photometric signal in the available All-Sky Automated Survey and Microvariability and Oscillations of STars (MOST) photometry and find that the signal is not consistently present and varies considerably as a function of time. This signal undergoes a phase change of roughly 0.8 rad when considering the first and second halves of the MOST data set, which are separated in median time by 3.38 days. In contrast, the Doppler signal is stable in the combined High-Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher and High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer radial velocities for over 4700 days and does not appear to vary in time in amplitude, phase, period, or as a function of extracted wavelength. We consider a variety of starspot scenarios and find it challenging to simultaneously explain the rapidly varying photometric signal and the stable radial velocity signal as being caused by starspots corotating on the stellar surface. This suggests that the origin of the Doppler periodicity might be the gravitational tug of a planet orbiting the star in spin–orbit resonance. For such a scenario and no spin–orbit misalignment, the measured v\\sin i indicates an inclination angle of 15.°5 ± 2.°5 and a planetary companion mass of 0.237 ± 0.047 M Jup.

  18. MODELING THE RISE OF FIBRIL MAGNETIC FIELDS IN FULLY CONVECTIVE STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, Maria A.; Browning, Matthew K., E-mail: mweber@astro.ex.ac.uk [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, EX4 4QL Exeter (United Kingdom)

    2016-08-20

    Many fully convective stars exhibit a wide variety of surface magnetism, including starspots and chromospheric activity. The manner by which bundles of magnetic field traverse portions of the convection zone to emerge at the stellar surface is not especially well understood. In the solar context, some insight into this process has been gleaned by regarding the magnetism as consisting partly of idealized thin flux tubes (TFTs). Here we present the results of a large set of TFT simulations in a rotating spherical domain of convective flows representative of a 0.3 M {sub ⊙} main-sequence star. This is the first study to investigate how individual flux tubes in such a star might rise under the combined influence of buoyancy, convection, and differential rotation. A time-dependent hydrodynamic convective flow field, taken from separate 3D simulations calculated with the anelastic equations, impacts the flux tube as it rises. Convective motions modulate the shape of the initially buoyant flux ring, promoting localized rising loops. Flux tubes in fully convective stars have a tendency to rise nearly parallel to the rotation axis. However, the presence of strong differential rotation allows some initially low-latitude flux tubes of moderate strength to develop rising loops that emerge in the near-equatorial region. Magnetic pumping suppresses the global rise of the flux tube most efficiently in the deeper interior and at lower latitudes. The results of these simulations aim to provide a link between dynamo-generated magnetic fields, fluid motions, and observations of starspots for fully convective stars.

  19. Extrasolar Planet Transits Observed at Kitt Peak National Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sada, Pedro V.; Jennings, Donald E.; Deming, Drake; Jennings, Donald E.; Jackson, Brian; Hamilton, Catrina M.; Fraine, Jonathan; Peterson, Steven W.; Haase, Flynn; Bays, Kevin; hide

    2012-01-01

    We obtained J-, H-, and JH-band photometry of known extrasolar planet transiting systems at the 2.1 m Kitt Peak National Observatory Telescope using the FLAMINGOS infrared camera between 2008 October and 2011 October. From the derived light curves we have extracted the midtransit times, transit depths and transit durations for these events. The precise midtransit times obtained help improve the orbital periods and also constrain transit-time variations of the systems. For most cases the published system parameters successfully accounted for our observed light curves, but in some instances we derive improved planetary radii and orbital periods. We complemented our 2.1 m infrared observations using CCD z0-band and B-band photometry (plus two H(alpha) filter observations) obtained with the Kitt Peak Visitor Center Telescope, and with four H-band transits observed in 2007 October with the NSO's 1.6 m McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. The principal highlights of our results are (1) Our ensemble of J-band planetary radii agree with optical radii, with the best-fit relation being RpRJ0:0017 0:979RpRvis. (2) We observe starspot crossings during the transit of WASP-11HAT-P-10. (3) We detect starspot crossings by HAT-P-11b (Kepler-3b), thus confirming that the magnetic evolution of the stellar active regions can be monitored even after the Kepler mission has ended. (4) We confirm a grazing transit for HAT-P-27WASP-40. In total, we present 57 individual transits of 32 known exoplanet systems.

  20. KECK NIRSPEC RADIAL VELOCITY OBSERVATIONS OF LATE-M DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tanner, Angelle; White, Russel [Department of Astronomy, Georgia State University, One Park Place, Atlanta, GA 30303 (United States); Bailey, John [Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 830 Dennison Building, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1042 (United States); Blake, Cullen [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Peyton Hall, Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Blake, Geoffrey [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Cruz, Kelle [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Hunter College, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065 (United States); Burgasser, Adam J. [Center for Astrophysics and Space Science, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States); Kraus, Adam [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    2012-11-15

    We present the results of an infrared spectroscopic survey of 23 late-M dwarfs with the NIRSPEC echelle spectrometer on the Keck II telescope. Using telluric lines for wavelength calibration, we are able to achieve measurement precisions of down to 45 m s{sup -1} for our late-M dwarfs over a one- to four-year long baseline. Our sample contains two stars with radial velocity (RV) variations of >1000 m s{sup -1}. While we require more measurements to determine whether these RV variations are due to unseen planetary or stellar companions or are the result of starspots known to plague the surface of M dwarfs, we can place upper limits of <40 M{sub J} sin i on the masses of any companions around those two M dwarfs with RV variations of <160 m s{sup -1} at orbital periods of 10-100 days. We have also measured the rotational velocities for all the stars in our late-M dwarf sample and offer our multi-order, high-resolution spectra over 2.0-2.4 {mu}m to the atmospheric modeling community to better understand the atmospheres of late-M dwarfs.

  1. Magnetic fields and dense chromospheres in dMe stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mullan, D.J.

    1975-01-01

    We examine in a semi-quantitative fashion the hypothesis that dense chromospheres of dMe stars are heated by dissipation of hydromagnetic waves. We propose that dMe stars are a set of magnetic stars on the lower main sequence, with strong fields presumably generated by dynamo action in deep convective envelopes. We discuss how the combination of magnetic fields and dense chromospheres in dMe stars provides a consistent interpretation of the following features: 1) The dMe stars which are most likely to be flares stars are those with hydrogen lines in emission. However, it is proposed that in certain conditions, Balmer lines may appear in absorption, and we suggest that 'negative flares' can be explained at least in part by the occurrence of strong absorption in Hα. 2) The propagation of flare-initiated coronal waves can trigger sympathetic stellar flares. 3) Apart from flare activity, emission line strengths in dMe stars must exhibit time variations due to the emergence of new magnetic flux ropes through the stellar surface. 4) The combination of strong magnetic fields with dense chromospheres makes the Faraday rotation measure large enough to have potentially a detectable effect on polarized visible light. 5) It is suggested that grain formation occurs in starspots on dMe stars. (orig./WL) [de

  2. MAGNETIC ACTIVITY ANALYSIS FOR A SAMPLE OF G-TYPE MAIN SEQUENCE KEPLER TARGETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mehrabi, Ahmad [Department of Physics, Bu Ali Sina University, 65178, 016016, Hamedan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); He, Han [National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China); Khosroshahi, Habib, E-mail: mehrabi@basu.ac.ir [School of Astronomy, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2017-01-10

    The variation of a stellar light curve owing to rotational modulation by magnetic features (starspots and faculae) on the star’s surface can be used to investigate the magnetic properties of the host star. In this paper, we use the periodicity and magnitude of the light-curve variation as two proxies to study the stellar magnetic properties for a large sample of G-type main sequence Kepler targets, for which the rotation periods were recently determined. By analyzing the correlation between the two magnetic proxies, it is found that: (1) the two proxies are positively correlated for most of the stars in our sample, and the percentages of negative, zero, and positive correlations are 4.27%, 6.81%, and 88.91%, respectively; (2) negative correlation stars cannot have a large magnitude of light-curve variation; and (3) with the increase of rotation period, the relative number of positive correlation stars decreases and the negative correlation one increases. These results indicate that stars with shorter rotation period tend to have positive correlation between the two proxies, and a good portion of the positive correlation stars have a larger magnitude of light-curve variation (and hence more intense magnetic activities) than negative correlation stars.

  3. B and V photoelectric photometry and light curve solution of the interacting binary systems HI Puppis, BL Eridani and SY Horologii

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kern, J.R.

    1985-01-01

    The first photoelectric observations of the eclipsing binary systems HI Puppis, BL Eridani, and SY Horologii were obtained and complete B and V light curves are presented. Improved light elements were derived for all three systems. The light curves of HI Puppis were analyzed by the three different computer models of Wilson and Devinney (1971), Binnendijk (1977), and Wood (1971) to get the geometrical and photometric elements of the system. HI Puppis, whose light curves show a total eclipse at secondary minimum, is shown to be a classic A-Type W Ursae Majoris system. The geometrical and photometric elements of BL Eridani were obtained from the analysis of the light curves using the method of Wilson and Devinney. The asymmetric nature of the light curve is treated as being due to the presence of an underluminous starspot on the primary component. The light curves of BL Eri show secondary eclipse to be total. The system is found to be a near contact system with the primary component filling its Roche lobe and the secondary nearly filling its lobe with a fill-out ratio of approximately 1.0. The light curves of SY Horologii were also subjected to the model of Wilson and Devinney. Both primary and secondary eclipses are partial

  4. NEAR-INFRARED PERIODIC AND OTHER VARIABLE FIELD STARS IN THE FIELD OF THE CYGNUS OB7 STAR-FORMING REGION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wolk, Scott J.; Rice, Thomas S. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Aspin, Colin A. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 640 North Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)

    2013-04-15

    We present a subset of the results of a three-season, 124 night, near-infrared monitoring campaign of the dark clouds Lynds 1003 and Lynds 1004 in the Cygnus OB7 star-forming region. In this paper, we focus on the field star population. Using three seasons of UKIRT J, H, and K-band observations spanning 1.5 years, we obtained high-quality photometry on 9200 stars down to J = 17 mag, with photometric uncertainty better than 0.04 mag. After excluding known disk-bearing stars we identify 149 variables-1.6% of the sample. Of these, about 60 are strictly periodic, with periods predominantly <2 days. We conclude this group is dominated by eclipsing binaries. A few stars have long period signals of between 20 and 60 days. About 25 stars have weak modulated signals, but it was not clear if these were periodic. Some of the stars in this group may be diskless young stellar objects with relatively large variability due to cool starspots. The remaining {approx}60 stars showed variations which appear to be purely stochastic.

  5. Optical counterparts of two Fermi millisecond pulsars: PSR J1301+0833 and PSR J1628–3205

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Miao; Halpern, Jules P.; Thorstensen, John R.

    2014-01-01

    Using the 1.3 m and 2.4 m Telescopes of the MDM Observatory, we identified the close companions of two eclipsing millisecond radio pulsars that were discovered by the Green Bank Telescope in searches of Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope sources, and measured their light curves. PSR J1301+0833 is a black widow pulsar in a 6.5 hr orbit whose companion star is strongly heated on the side facing the pulsar. It varies from R = 21.8 to R > 24 around the orbit. PSR J1628–3205 is a 'redback', a nearly Roche-lobe-filling system in a 5.0 hr orbit whose optical modulation in the range 19.0 < R < 19.4 is dominated by strong ellipsoidal variations, indicating a large orbital inclination angle. PSR J1628–3205 also shows evidence for a long-term variation of about 0.2 mag, and an asymmetric temperature distribution possibly due to either off-center heating by the pulsar wind, or large starspots. Modeling of its light curve restricts the inclination angle to i > 55°, the mass of the companion to 0.16 < M c < 0.30 M ☉ , and the effective temperature to 3560 < T eff < 4670 K. As is the case for several redbacks, the companion of PSR J1628–3205 is less dense and hotter than a main-sequence star of the same mass.

  6. Limb Darkening and Planetary Transits: Testing Center-to-limb Intensity Variations and Limb-darkening Directly from Model Stellar Atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neilson, Hilding R.; Lester, John B. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); McNeil, Joseph T.; Ignace, Richard, E-mail: neilson@astro.utoronto.ca [Department of Physics and Astronomy, East Tennessee State University, Box 70652, Johnson City, TN 37614 (United States)

    2017-08-10

    The transit method, employed by Microvariability and Oscillation of Stars ( MOST ), Kepler , and various ground-based surveys has enabled the characterization of extrasolar planets to unprecedented precision. These results are precise enough to begin to measure planet atmosphere composition, planetary oblateness, starspots, and other phenomena at the level of a few hundred parts per million. However, these results depend on our understanding of stellar limb darkening, that is, the intensity distribution across the stellar disk that is sequentially blocked as the planet transits. Typically, stellar limb darkening is assumed to be a simple parameterization with two coefficients that are derived from stellar atmosphere models or fit directly. In this work, we revisit this assumption and compute synthetic planetary-transit light curves directly from model stellar atmosphere center-to-limb intensity variations (CLIVs) using the plane-parallel Atlas and spherically symmetric SAtlas codes. We compare these light curves to those constructed using best-fit limb-darkening parameterizations. We find that adopting parametric stellar limb-darkening laws leads to systematic differences from the more geometrically realistic model stellar atmosphere CLIV of about 50–100 ppm at the transit center and up to 300 ppm at ingress/egress. While these errors are small, they are systematic, and they appear to limit the precision necessary to measure secondary effects. Our results may also have a significant impact on transit spectra.

  7. Mapping stellar surface features

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noah, P.V.

    1987-01-01

    New photometric and spectroscopic observations of the RS Canum Venaticorum binaries Sigma Geminorum and UX Arietis are reported along with details of the Doppler-imaging program SPOTPROF. The observations suggest that the starspot activity on Sigma Gem has decreased to 0.05 magnitude in two years. A photometric spot model for September 1984 to January 1985 found that a single spot covering 2% of the surface and 1000 K cooler than the surrounding photosphere could model the light variations. Equivalent-width observations contemporaneous with the photometric observations did not show any significant variations. Line-profile models from SPOTPROF predict that the variation of the equivalent width of the 6393 A Fe I line should be ∼ 1mA. Photometric observations of UX Ari from January 1984 to March 1985 show an 0.3 magnitude variation indicating a large spot group must cover the surface. Contemporaneous spectroscopic observations show asymmetric line profiles. The Doppler imaging and the photometric light-curve models were used in an iterative method to describe the stellar surface-spot distribution and successfully model both the photometric and the spectroscopic variations

  8. KECK NIRSPEC RADIAL VELOCITY OBSERVATIONS OF LATE-M DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanner, Angelle; White, Russel; Bailey, John; Blake, Cullen; Blake, Geoffrey; Cruz, Kelle; Burgasser, Adam J.; Kraus, Adam

    2012-01-01

    We present the results of an infrared spectroscopic survey of 23 late-M dwarfs with the NIRSPEC echelle spectrometer on the Keck II telescope. Using telluric lines for wavelength calibration, we are able to achieve measurement precisions of down to 45 m s –1 for our late-M dwarfs over a one- to four-year long baseline. Our sample contains two stars with radial velocity (RV) variations of >1000 m s –1 . While we require more measurements to determine whether these RV variations are due to unseen planetary or stellar companions or are the result of starspots known to plague the surface of M dwarfs, we can place upper limits of J sin i on the masses of any companions around those two M dwarfs with RV variations of –1 at orbital periods of 10-100 days. We have also measured the rotational velocities for all the stars in our late-M dwarf sample and offer our multi-order, high-resolution spectra over 2.0-2.4 μm to the atmospheric modeling community to better understand the atmospheres of late-M dwarfs.

  9. ARE TIDAL EFFECTS RESPONSIBLE FOR EXOPLANETARY SPIN–ORBIT ALIGNMENT?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Gongjie [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, The Institute for Theory and Computation, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Winn, Joshua N., E-mail: gli@cfa.harvard.edu [Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2016-02-10

    The obliquities of planet-hosting stars are clues about the formation of planetary systems. Previous observations led to the hypothesis that for close-in giant planets, spin–orbit alignment is enforced by tidal interactions. Here, we examine two problems with this hypothesis. First, Mazeh and coworkers recently used a new technique—based on the amplitude of starspot-induced photometric variability—to conclude that spin–orbit alignment is common even for relatively long-period planets, which would not be expected if tides were responsible. We re-examine the data and find a statistically significant correlation between photometric variability and planetary orbital period that is qualitatively consistent with tidal interactions. However it is still difficult to explain quantitatively, as it would require tides to be effective for periods as long as tens of days. Second, Rogers and Lin argued against a particular theory for tidal re-alignment by showing that initially retrograde systems would fail to be re-aligned, in contradiction with the observed prevalence of prograde systems. We investigate a simple model that overcomes this problem by taking into account the dissipation of inertial waves and the equilibrium tide, as well as magnetic braking. We identify a region of parameter space where re-alignment can be achieved, but it only works for close-in giant planets, and requires some fine tuning. Thus, while we find both problems to be more nuanced than they first appeared, the tidal model still has serious shortcomings.

  10. The Young Solar Analogs Project: Initial Photometric Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saken, Jon M.; Gray, R. O.; Corbally, C. J.

    2013-06-01

    Since 2007 we have been conducting spectroscopic monitoring of the Ca II H & K lines and G-band for a sample of 31 YSAs in order to better understand their activity cycles and variations, as well as the effects of young stars on their solar systems. The targets cover the spectral range of stars most likely to contain Earth analogs, F8-K2, and a broad enough range of ages, 0.3 Gyr - 1.5 Gyr, to investigate how activity level changes with stellar age. These studies are already showing possible evidence for activity cycles, large variations in starspot activity, and flaring events. In order to obtain a more complete picture of the nature of the stars' activity and examine the correlations between stellar brightness and chromospheric activity, we have started a complimentary campaign of photometric monitoring of these targets in Johnson B, V, and R, Stromgren v and H-alpha, with the use of a small robotic telescope dedicated to this project. This poster will present some results from the first year of photometric monitoring, focusing on the correlations between the photometric bands, and between the photometric and spectroscopic data, as well as an investigation of short-term (1-2 minutes) spectroscopic variations using data obtained earlier this year on the 1.8 m Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT).

  11. Light-curve Modulation of Low-mass Stars in K2. I. Identification of 481 Fast Rotators in the Solar Neighborhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saylor, Dicy; Lepine, Sebastien; Crossfield, Ian; Petigura, Erik A.

    2018-01-01

    The K2 mission is targeting large numbers of nearby (d 40 mas yr‑1, V < 20). Additionally, the mission is targeting low-mass, high proper motion stars associated with the local (d < 500 pc) Galactic halo population also selected from SUPERBLINK. K2 campaigns 0 through 8 monitored a total of 26,518 of these cool main-sequence stars. We used the auto-correlation function to search for fast rotators by identifying short-period photometric modulations in the K2 light curves. We identified 481 candidate fast rotators with rotation periods <4 days that show light-curve modulations consistent with starspots. Their kinematics show low average transverse velocities, suggesting that they are part of the young disk population. A subset (13) of the fast rotators is found among those targets with colors and kinematics consistent with the local Galactic halo population and may represent stars spun up by tidal interactions in close binary systems. We further demonstrate that the M dwarf fast rotators selected from the K2 light curves are significantly more likely to have UV excess and discuss the potential of the K2 mission to identify new nearby young GKM dwarfs on the basis of their fast rotation rates. Finally, we discuss the possible use of local halo stars as fiducial, non-variable sources in the Kepler fields.

  12. Modeling Atmospheric Activity of Cool Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrijver, C. J.

    2003-10-01

    This review discusses a set of simple models for cool-star activity with which we compute (1) photospheric field patterns on stars of different activity levels, (2) the associated outer-atmospheric field configurations, and (3) the soft X-ray emission that is expected to result from the ensemble of loop atmospheres in the coronae of these stars. The model is based on empirically-determined properties of solar activity. It allows us to extrapolate to stars of significantly higher and lower activity than seen on the present-day Sun through its cycle. With it, we can, for example, gain insight into stellar field patterns (including a possible formation mechanism for polar starspots), as well as in the properties of coronal heating (helpful in the identification of the quiescent coronal heating mechanism). Lacking comprehensive theoretical understanding, the model's reliance on empirical solar data means that the multitude of processes involved are approximated to be independent of rotation rate, activity level, and fundamental stellar parameters, or -- where unavoidably necessary -- assumed to simply scale with activity. An evaluation of the most important processes involved guides a discussion of the limits of the model, of the limitations in our knowledge, and of future needs. "I propose to adopt such rules as will ensure the testability of scientific statements; which is to say, their falsifiability." Karl Popper (1902-1994)

  13. Removing Activity-Related Radial Velocity Noise to Improve Extrasolar Planet Searches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saar, Steven; Lindstrom, David M. (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    We have made significant progress towards the proposal goals of understanding the causes and effects of magnetic activity-induced radial velocity (v_r) jitter and developing methods for correcting it. In the process, we have also made some significant discoveries in the fields of planet-induced stellar activity, planet detection methods, M dwarf convection, starspot properties, and magnetic dynamo cycles. We have obtained super high resolution (R approximately 200,000), high S / N (greater than 300) echelle study of joint line bisector and radial velocity variations using the McDonald 2-D coude. A long observing run in October 2002 in particular was quite successful (8 clear nights). We now have close to three years of data, which begins to sample a good fraction of the magnetic cycle timescales for some of our targets (e.g., kappa Ceti; P_cyc = 5.6 yrs). This will be very helpful in unraveling the complex relationships between plage and radial velocity (v-r) changes which we have uncovered. Preliminary analysis (Saar et al. 2003) of the data in hand, reveals correlations between median line bisector displacement and v_r. The correlation appears to be specific the the particular star being considered, probably since it is a function of both spectral type and rotation rate. Further analysis and interpretation will be in the context of evolving plage models and is in progress.

  14. Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time: Searching for Young Stars in K2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Nathan Ryan; Mann, Andrew; Rizzuto, Aaron

    2018-01-01

    Observations of planetary systems around young stars provide insight into the early stages of planetary system formation. Nearby young open clusters such as the Hyades, Pleiades, and Praesepe provide important benchmarks for the properties of stellar systems in general. These clusters are all known to be less than 1 Gyr old, making them ideal targets for a survey of young planetary systems. Few transiting planets have been detected around clusters stars, however, so this alone is too small of a sample. K2, the revived Kepler mission, has provided a vast number of light curves for young stars in clusters and elsewhere in the K2 field. This provides us with the opportunity to extend the sample of young systems to field stars while calibrating with cluster stars. We compute rotational periods from starspot patterns for ~36,000 K2 targets and use gyrochronological relationships derived from cluster stars to determine their ages. From there, we have begun searching for planets around young stars outside the clusters with the ultimate goal of shedding light on how planets and planetary systems evolve in their early, most formative years.

  15. TESTS OF THE PLANETARY HYPOTHESIS FOR PTFO 8-8695b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Liang; Winn, Joshua N.; Rappaport, Saul; Dai, Fei; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Gillon, Michaël; Delrez, Laetitia; Jehin, Emmanuel; Lendl, Monika; Albrecht, Simon; Bieryla, Allyson; Holman, Matthew J.; Montet, Benjamin T.; Hillenbrand, Lynne; Howard, Andrew W.; Huang, Chelsea X.; Isaacson, Howard; Sanchis-Ojeda, Roberto; Muirhead, Philip

    2015-01-01

    The T Tauri star PTFO 8-8695 exhibits periodic fading events that have been interpreted as the transits of a giant planet on a precessing orbit. Here we present three tests of the planet hypothesis. First, we sought evidence for the secular changes in light-curve morphology that are predicted to be a consequence of orbital precession. We observed 28 fading events spread over several years and did not see the expected changes. Instead, we found that the fading events are not strictly periodic. Second, we attempted to detect the planet's radiation, based on infrared observations spanning the predicted times of occultations. We ruled out a signal of the expected amplitude. Third, we attempted to detect the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect by performing high-resolution spectroscopy throughout a fading event. No effect was seen at the expected level, ruling out most (but not all) possible orientations for the hypothetical planetary orbit. Our spectroscopy also revealed strong, time-variable, high-velocity Hα and Ca H and K emission features. All these observations cast doubt on the planetary hypothesis, and suggest instead that the fading events represent starspots, eclipses by circumstellar dust, or occultations of an accretion hotspot

  16. A Monster CME Obscuring a Demon Star Flare

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moschou, Sofia-Paraskevi; Drake, Jeremy J.; Cohen, Ofer; Alvarado-Gomez, Julian D.; Garraffo, Cecilia

    2017-12-01

    We explore the scenario of a coronal mass ejection (CME) being the cause of the observed continuous X-ray absorption of the 1997 August 30 superflare on the eclipsing binary Algol (the Demon Star). The temporal decay of the absorption is consistent with absorption by a CME undergoing self-similar evolution with uniform expansion velocity. We investigate the kinematic and energetic properties of the CME using the ice cream cone model for its three-dimensional structure in combination with the observed profile of the hydrogen column density decline with time. Different physically justified length scales were used that allowed us to estimate lower and upper limits of the possible CME characteristics. Further consideration of the maximum available magnetic energy in starspots leads us to quantify its mass as likely lying in the range 2× {10}21 {--} 2× {10}22 g and kinetic energy in the range 7× {10}35 {--} 3× {10}38 erg. The results are in reasonable agreement with extrapolated relations between flare X-ray fluence and CME mass and kinetic energy derived for solar CMEs.

  17. COMPARISON OF KEPLER PHOTOMETRIC VARIABILITY WITH THE SUN ON DIFFERENT TIMESCALES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basri, Gibor; Walkowicz, Lucianne M.; Reiners, Ansgar

    2013-01-01

    We utilize Kepler data to study the precision differential photometric variability of solar-type and cooler stars at different timescales, ranging from half an hour to three months. We define a diagnostic that characterizes the median differential intensity change between data bins of a given timescale. We apply the same diagnostics to Solar and Heliospheric Observatory data that has been rendered comparable to Kepler. The Sun exhibits similar photometric variability on all timescales as comparable solar-type stars in the Kepler field. The previously defined photometric ''range'' serves as our activity proxy (driven by starspot coverage). We revisit the fraction of comparable stars in the Kepler field that are more active than the Sun. The exact active fraction depends on what is meant by ''more active than the Sun'' and on the magnitude limit of the sample of stars considered. This active fraction is between a quarter and a third (depending on the timescale). We argue that a reliable result requires timescales of half a day or longer and stars brighter than M Kep of 14, otherwise non-stellar noise distorts it. We also analyze main sequence stars grouped by temperature from 6500 to 3500 K. As one moves to cooler stars, the active fraction of stars becomes steadily larger (greater than 90% for early M dwarfs). The Sun is a good photometric model at all timescales for those cooler stars that have long-term variability within the span of solar variability.

  18. Photometric light curves for seven rapidly-rotating K dwarfs in the Pleiades and Alpha Persei clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stauffer, John R.; Schild, Rudolph A.; Baliunas, Sallie L.; Africano, John L.

    1987-01-01

    Light curves and period estimates were obtained for several Pleiades and Alpha Persei cluster K dwarfs which were identified as rapid rotators in earlier spectroscopic studies. A few of the stars have previously-published light curves, making it possible to study the long-term variability of the light-curve shapes. The general cause of the photometric variability observed for these stars is an asymmetric distribution of photospheric inhomogeneities (starspots). The presence of these inhomogeneities combined with the rotation of the star lead to the light curves observed. The photometric periods derived are thus identified with the rotation period of the star, making it possible to estimate equatorial rotational velocities for these K dwarfs. These data are of particular importance because the clusters are sufficiently young that stars of this mass should have just arrived on the main sequence. These data could be used to estimate the temperatures and sizes of the spot groups necessary to produce the observed light curves for these stars.

  19. TRANSIT MODEL OF PLANETS WITH MOON AND RING SYSTEMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tusnski, Luis Ricardo M.; Valio, Adriana

    2011-01-01

    Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, those most adequate for life to begin and evolve have been sought. Due to observational bias, however, most of the discovered planets so far are gas giants, precluding their habitability. However, if these hot Jupiters are located in the habitable zones of their host stars, and if rocky moons orbit them, then these moons may be habitable. In this work, we present a model for planetary transit simulation considering the presence of moons and planetary rings around a planet. The moon's orbit is considered to be circular and coplanar with the planetary orbit. The other physical and orbital parameters of the star, planet, moon, and rings can be adjusted in each simulation. It is possible to simulate as many successive transits as desired. Since the presence of spots on the surface of the star may produce a signal similar to that of the presence of a moon, our model also allows for the inclusion of starspots. The result of the simulation is a light curve with a planetary transit. White noise may also be added to the light curves to produce curves similar to those obtained by the CoRoT and Kepler space telescopes. The goal is to determine the criteria for detectability of moons and/or ring systems using photometry. The results show that it is possible to detect moons with radii as little as 1.3 R ⊕ with CoRoT and 0.3 R ⊕ with Kepler.

  20. Ground-based detection of G star superflares with NGTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackman, James A. G.; Wheatley, Peter J.; Pugh, Chloe E.; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Gillen, Edward; Broomhall, Anne-Marie; Armstrong, David J.; Burleigh, Matthew R.; Chaushev, Alexander; Eigmüller, Philipp; Erikson, Anders; Goad, Michael R.; Grange, Andrew; Günther, Maximilian N.; Jenkins, James S.; McCormac, James; Raynard, Liam; Thompson, Andrew P. G.; Udry, Stéphane; Walker, Simon; Watson, Christopher A.; West, Richard G.

    2018-04-01

    We present high cadence detections of two superflares from a bright G8 star (V = 11.56) with the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS). We improve upon previous superflare detections by resolving the flare rise and peak, allowing us to fit a solar flare inspired model without the need for arbitrary break points between rise and decay. Our data also enables us to identify substructure in the flares. From changing starspot modulation in the NGTS data we detect a stellar rotation period of 59 hours, along with evidence for differential rotation. We combine this rotation period with the observed ROSAT X-ray flux to determine that the star's X-ray activity is saturated. We calculate the flare bolometric energies as 5.4^{+0.8}_{-0.7}× 10^{34}and 2.6^{+0.4}_{-0.3}× 10^{34}erg and compare our detections with G star superflares detected in the Kepler survey. We find our main flare to be one of the largest amplitude superflares detected from a bright G star. With energies more than 100 times greater than the Carrington event, our flare detections demonstrate the role that ground-based instruments such as NGTS can have in assessing the habitability of Earth-like exoplanets, particularly in the era of PLATO.

  1. Interferometry in the era of time-domain astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Gail H.; Cassan, Arnaud; Gallenne, Alexandre; Roettenbacher, Rachael M.; Schneider, Jean

    2018-04-01

    The physical nature of time variable objects is often inferred from photometric light-curves and spectroscopic variations. Long-baseline optical interferometry has the power to resolve the spatial structure of time variable sources directly in order to measure their physical properties and test the physics of the underlying models. Recent interferometric studies of variable objects include measuring the angular expansion and spatial structure during the early stages of novae outbursts, studying the transits and tidal distortions of the components in eclipsing and interacting binaries, measuring the radial pulsations in Cepheid variables, monitoring changes in the circumstellar discs around rapidly rotating massive stars, and imaging starspots. Future applications include measuring the image size and centroid displacements in gravitational microlensing events, and imaging the transits of exoplanets. Ongoing and upcoming photometric surveys will dramatically increase the number of time-variable objects detected each year, providing many potential targets to observe interferometrically. For short-lived transient events, it is critical for interferometric arrays to have the flexibility to respond rapidly to targets of opportunity and optimize the selection of baselines and beam combiners to provide the necessary resolution and sensitivity to resolve the source as its brightness and size change. We discuss the science opportunities made possible by resolving variable sources using long baseline optical interferometry.

  2. On the Origin of Sub-subgiant Stars. II. Binary Mass Transfer, Envelope Stripping, and Magnetic Activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leiner, Emily; Mathieu, Robert D. [Department of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 475 North Charter Street, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); Geller, Aaron M., E-mail: leiner@astro.wisc.edu [Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)

    2017-05-10

    Sub-subgiant stars (SSGs) lie to the red of the main sequence and fainter than the red giant branch in cluster color–magnitude diagrams (CMDs), a region not easily populated by standard stellar evolution pathways. While there has been speculation on what mechanisms may create these unusual stars, no well-developed theory exists to explain their origins. Here we discuss three hypotheses of SSG formation: (1) mass transfer in a binary system, (2) stripping of a subgiant’s envelope, perhaps during a dynamical encounter, and (3) reduced luminosity due to magnetic fields that lower convective efficiency and produce large starspots. Using the stellar evolution code MESA, we develop evolutionary tracks for each of these hypotheses, and compare the expected stellar and orbital properties of these models with six known SSGs in the two open clusters M67 and NGC 6791. All three of these mechanisms can create stars or binary systems in the SSG CMD domain. We also calculate the frequency with which each of these mechanisms may create SSG systems, and find that the magnetic field hypothesis is expected to create SSGs with the highest frequency in open clusters. Mass transfer and envelope stripping have lower expected formation frequencies, but may nevertheless create occasional SSGs in open clusters. They may also be important mechanisms to create SSGs in higher mass globular clusters.

  3. Stellar Rotation with Kepler and Gaia: Evidence for a Bimodal Star Formation History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, James

    2018-01-01

    Kepler stars with rotation periods measured via starspot modulations in their light curves have been matched against the astrometric data from Gaia Data Release 1. A total of 1,299 bright rotating stars were recovered, most with temperatures hotter than 5000 K. From these, 894 were selected as being near the main sequence. These main sequence stars show a bimodality in their rotation period distribution, centered around a ~600 Myr rotation-isochrone. This feature matches the bimodal period distribution found in cooler stars with Kepler, but was previously undetected for solar-type stars due to sample contamination by subgiant and binary stars. A tenuous connection between the rotation period and total proper motion is found, suggesting the period bimodality is due to the age distribution of stars within 300pc of the Sun, rather than a phase of rapid angular momentum loss. I will discuss how the combination of Kepler/K2/TESS with Gaia will enable us to map the star formation history of our galactic neighborhood.

  4. Microwave emission from the coronae of late-type dwarf stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linsky, J.L.; Gary, D.E.

    1983-11-15

    We present VLA microwave observatios of 14 late-type dwarf and subgiant stars ad binary systems. In this extensive set of observations we detected four sources at 6 cm (chi/sup 1/ Ori, UV Cet, YY Gem, and Wolf 630AB) and found low upper limits for the remaining stars. The microwave luminosities of the nondetected F--K dwarfs are as small as 10/sup -2/ those of the dMe stars. The detected emission is slowly variable in all cases and is consistent with gyroresonant emission from thermal electrons spiralig in magnetic fields of about 300 gauss if the source sizes are as large as R/R/sub asterisk/roughly-equal3--4. This would correspond to magnetic fields that are probably in the range 10/sup 3/--10/sup 4/ gauss at the photospheric level. These photospheric field strengths are somewhat larger than have been observed so far in G--K dwarfs. An alternative mechanism is gyrosynchrotron emission from a relatively small number of electrons (only 10/sup -3/ the number of ambient electrons) with effective temperature, T/sub eff/>10/sup 8/ K. This mechanism is consistent with much smaller and presumably more realistic source sizes. Observations of YY gem dMle+dMle) at a number of phase are consistent with maximum but variable microwave flux at the same phase as miximum plage and central meridian passage of a large starspot of the secondary star. If confirmed by subsequent observations, this provides the first direct evidence that the emission process is magnetic in character on dMe stars.

  5. γ DORADUS PULSATIONS IN THE ECLIPSING BINARY STAR KIC 6048106

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jae Woo, E-mail: jwlee@kasi.re.kr [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Daejeon 34113 (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-12-20

    We present the Kepler photometry of KIC 6048106, which is exhibiting the O’Connell effect and multiperiodic pulsations. Including a starspot on either of the components, light-curve synthesis indicates that this system is a semi-detached Algol with a mass ratio of 0.211, an orbital inclination of 73.°9, and a large temperature difference of 2534 K. To examine in detail both the spot variations and pulsations, we separately analyzed the Kepler time-series data at the interval of an orbital period in an iterative way. The results reveal that the variable asymmetries of the light maxima can be interpreted as the changes with time of a magnetic cool spot on the secondary component. Multiple frequency analyses were performed in the outside-eclipse light residuals after removal of the binarity effects from the observed Kepler data. We detected 30 frequencies with signal to noise amplitude ratios larger than 4.0, of which six ( f {sub 2}– f {sub 6} and f {sub 10}) can be identified as high-order (17 ≤  n  ≤ 25) low-degree ( ℓ  = 2) gravity-mode pulsations that were stable during the observing run of 200 days. In contrast, the other frequencies may be harmonic and combination terms. For the six frequencies, the pulsation periods and pulsation constants are in the ranges of 0.352–0.506 days and 0.232–0.333 days, respectively. These values and the position on the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram demonstrate that the primary star is a γ Dor variable. The evolutionary status and the pulsation nature of KIC 6048106 are discussed.

  6. Chromospheric activity of periodic variable stars (including eclipsing binaries) observed in DR2 LAMOST stellar spectral survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liyun; Lu, Hongpeng; Han, Xianming L.; Jiang, Linyan; Li, Zhongmu; Zhang, Yong; Hou, Yonghui; Wang, Yuefei; Cao, Zihuang

    2018-05-01

    The LAMOST spectral survey provides a rich databases for studying stellar spectroscopic properties and chromospheric activity. We cross-matched a total of 105,287 periodic variable stars from several photometric surveys and databases (CSS, LINEAR, Kepler, a recently updated eclipsing star catalogue, ASAS, NSVS, some part of SuperWASP survey, variable stars from the Tsinghua University-NAOC Transient Survey, and other objects from some new references) with four million stellar spectra published in the LAMOST data release 2 (DR2). We found 15,955 spectra for 11,469 stars (including 5398 eclipsing binaries). We calculated their equivalent widths (EWs) of their Hα, Hβ, Hγ, Hδ and Caii H lines. Using the Hα line EW, we found 447 spectra with emission above continuum for a total of 316 stars (178 eclipsing binaries). We identified 86 active stars (including 44 eclipsing binaries) with repeated LAMOST spectra. A total of 68 stars (including 34 eclipsing binaries) show chromospheric activity variability. We also found LAMOST spectra of 12 cataclysmic variables, five of which show chromospheric activity variability. We also made photometric follow-up studies of three short period targets (DY CVn, HAT-192-0001481, and LAMOST J164933.24+141255.0) using the Xinglong 60-cm telescope and the SARA 90-cm and 1-m telescopes, and obtained new BVRI CCD light curves. We analyzed these light curves and obtained orbital and starspot parameters. We detected the first flare event with a huge brightness increase of more than about 1.5 magnitudes in R filter in LAMOST J164933.24+141255.0.

  7. Magnetic Inflation and Stellar Mass. I. Revised Parameters for the Component Stars of the Kepler Low-mass Eclipsing Binary T-Cyg1-12664

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Eunkyu; Muirhead, Philip S. [Department of Astronomy and Institute for Astrophysical Research, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Swift, Jonathan J. [The Thacher School, 5025 Thacher Road Ojai, CA 93023 (United States); Baranec, Christoph; Atkinson, Dani [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaiì at Mānoa, Hilo, HI 96720-2700 (United States); Law, Nicholas M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3255 (United States); Riddle, Reed [California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Mace, Gregory N. [McDonald Observatory and The University of Texas, 2515 Speedway, Stop C1400, Austin, TX 78712-1205 (United States); DeFelippis, Daniel, E-mail: eunkyuh@bu.edu [Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027 (United States)

    2017-09-01

    Several low-mass eclipsing binary stars show larger than expected radii for their measured mass, metallicity, and age. One proposed mechanism for this radius inflation involves inhibited internal convection and starspots caused by strong magnetic fields. One particular eclipsing binary, T-Cyg1-12664, has proven confounding to this scenario. Çakırlı et al. measured a radius for the secondary component that is twice as large as model predictions for stars with the same mass and age, but a primary mass that is consistent with predictions. Iglesias-Marzoa et al. independently measured the radii and masses of the component stars and found that the radius of the secondary is not in fact inflated with respect to models, but that the primary is, which is consistent with the inhibited convection scenario. However, in their mass determinations, Iglesias-Marzoa et al. lacked independent radial velocity measurements for the secondary component due to the star’s faintness at optical wavelengths. The secondary component is especially interesting, as its purported mass is near the transition from partially convective to a fully convective interior. In this article, we independently determined the masses and radii of the component stars of T-Cyg1-12664 using archival Kepler data and radial velocity measurements of both component stars obtained with IGRINS on the Discovery Channel Telescope and NIRSPEC and HIRES on the Keck Telescopes. We show that neither of the component stars is inflated with respect to models. Our results are broadly consistent with modern stellar evolutionary models for main-sequence M dwarf stars and do not require inhibited convection by magnetic fields to account for the stellar radii.

  8. SPOTTED STAR LIGHT CURVES WITH ENHANCED PRECISION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, R. E.

    2012-01-01

    The nearly continuous timewise coverage of recent photometric surveys is free of the large gaps that compromise attempts to follow starspot growth and decay as well as motions, thereby giving incentive to improve computational precision for modeled spots. Due to the wide variety of star systems in the surveys, such improvement should apply to light/velocity curve models that accurately include all the main phenomena of close binaries and rotating single stars. The vector fractional area (VFA) algorithm that is introduced here represents surface elements by small sets of position vectors so as to allow accurate computation of circle-triangle overlap by spherical geometry. When computed by VFA, spots introduce essentially no noticeable scatter in light curves at the level of one part in 10,000. VFA has been put into the Wilson-Devinney light/velocity curve program and all logic and mathematics are given so as to facilitate entry into other such programs. Advantages of precise spot computation include improved statistics of spot motions and aging, reduced computation time (intrinsic precision relaxes needs for grid fineness), noise-free illustration of spot effects in figures, and help in guarding against false positives in exoplanet searches, where spots could approximately mimic transiting planets in unusual circumstances. A simple spot growth and decay template quantifies time profiles, and specifics of its utilization in differential corrections solutions are given. Computational strategies are discussed, the overall process is tested in simulations via solutions of synthetic light curve data, and essential simulation results are described. An efficient time smearing facility by Gaussian quadrature can deal with Kepler mission data that are in 30 minute time bins.

  9. Serendipitous discovery of a dwarf Nova in the Kepler field near the G dwarf KIC 5438845

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Alexander; Ayres, Thomas R.; Neff, James E.; Wells, Mark A.; Kowalski, Adam; Hawley, Suzanne; Berdyugina, Svetlana; Harper, Graham M.; Korhonen, Heidi; Piskunov, Nikolai; Saar, Steven; Walkowicz, Lucianne

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler satellite provides a unique window into stellar temporal variability by observing a wide variety of stars with multi-year, near-continuous, high precision, optical photometric time series. While most Kepler targets are faint stars with poorly known physical properties, many unexpected discoveries should result from a long photometric survey of such a large area of sky. During our Kepler Guest Observer programs that monitored late-type stars for starspot and flaring variability, we discovered a previously unknown dwarf nova that lies within a few arcseconds of the mid-G dwarf star KIC 5438845. This dwarf nova underwent nine outbursts over a 4 year time span. The two largest outbursts lasted ∼17–18 days and show strong modulations with a 110.8 minute period and a declining amplitude during the outburst decay phase. These properties are characteristic of an SU UMa-type cataclysmic variable. By analogy with other dwarf nova light curves, we associate the 110.8 minute (1.847 hr) period with the superhump period, close to but slightly longer than the orbital period of the binary. No precursor outbursts are seen before the super-outbursts and the overall super-outburst morphology corresponds to Osaki and Meyer “Case B” outbursts, which are initiated when the outer edge of the disk reaches the tidal truncation radius. “Case B” outbursts are rare within the Kepler light curves of dwarf novae. The dwarf nova is undergoing relatively slow mass transfer, as evidenced by the long intervals between outbursts, but the mass transfer rate appears to be steady, because the smaller “normal” outbursts show a strong correlation between the integrated outburst energy and the elapsed time since the previous outburst. At super-outburst maximum the system was at V ∼ 18, but in quiescence it is fainter than V ∼ 22, which will make any detailed quiescent follow-up of this system difficult.

  10. Estimating Finite Rate of Population Increase for Sharks Based on Vital Parameters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwang-Ming Liu

    Full Text Available The vital parameter data for 62 stocks, covering 38 species, collected from the literature, including parameters of age, growth, and reproduction, were log-transformed and analyzed using multivariate analyses. Three groups were identified and empirical equations were developed for each to describe the relationships between the predicted finite rates of population increase (λ' and the vital parameters, maximum age (Tmax, age at maturity (Tm, annual fecundity (f/Rc, size at birth (Lb, size at maturity (Lm, and asymptotic length (L∞. Group (1 included species with slow growth rates (0.034 yr(-1 < k < 0.103 yr(-1 and extended longevity (26 yr < Tmax < 81 yr, e.g., shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus, dusky shark Carcharhinus obscurus, etc.; Group (2 included species with fast growth rates (0.103 yr(-1 < k < 0.358 yr(-1 and short longevity (9 yr < Tmax < 26 yr, e.g., starspotted smoothhound Mustelus manazo, gray smoothhound M. californicus, etc.; Group (3 included late maturing species (Lm/L∞ ≧ 0.75 with moderate longevity (Tmax < 29 yr, e.g., pelagic thresher Alopias pelagicus, sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus. The empirical equation for all data pooled was also developed. The λ' values estimated by these empirical equations showed good agreement with those calculated using conventional demographic analysis. The predictability was further validated by an independent data set of three species. The empirical equations developed in this study not only reduce the uncertainties in estimation but also account for the difference in life history among groups. This method therefore provides an efficient and effective approach to the implementation of precautionary shark management measures.

  11. WHY ARE RAPIDLY ROTATING M DWARFS IN THE PLEIADES SO (INFRA)RED? NEW PERIOD MEASUREMENTS CONFIRM ROTATION-DEPENDENT COLOR OFFSETS FROM THE CLUSTER SEQUENCE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Covey, Kevin R. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9164 (United States); Agüeros, Marcel A.; Liu, Jiyu [Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Law, Nicholas M. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3255 (United States); Ahmadi, Aida [Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn (Germany); Laher, Russ; Surace, Jason [Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Levitan, David [Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Sesar, Branimir, E-mail: kevin.covey@wwu.edu [Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2016-05-10

    Stellar rotation periods ( P {sub rot}) measured in open clusters have proved to be extremely useful for studying stars’ angular momentum content and rotationally driven magnetic activity, which are both age- and mass-dependent processes. While P {sub rot} measurements have been obtained for hundreds of solar-mass members of the Pleiades, measurements exist for only a few low-mass (<0.5 M {sub ⊙}) members of this key laboratory for stellar evolution theory. To fill this gap, we report P {sub rot} for 132 low-mass Pleiades members (including nearly 100 with M ≤ 0.45 M {sub ⊙}), measured from photometric monitoring of the cluster conducted by the Palomar Transient Factory in late 2011 and early 2012. These periods extend the portrait of stellar rotation at 125 Myr to the lowest-mass stars and re-establish the Pleiades as a key benchmark for models of the transport and evolution of stellar angular momentum. Combining our new P {sub rot} with precise BVIJHK photometry reported by Stauffer et al. and Kamai et al., we investigate known anomalies in the photometric properties of K and M Pleiades members. We confirm the correlation detected by Kamai et al. between a star's P {sub rot} and position relative to the main sequence in the cluster's color–magnitude diagram. We find that rapid rotators have redder ( V − K ) colors than slower rotators at the same V , indicating that rapid and slow rotators have different binary frequencies and/or photospheric properties. We find no difference in the photometric amplitudes of rapid and slow rotators, indicating that asymmetries in the longitudinal distribution of starspots do not scale grossly with rotation rate.

  12. Three Super-Earths Orbiting HD 7924

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, Benjamin J.; Weiss, Lauren M.; Sinukoff, Evan; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew W.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Henry, Gregory W.; Holden, Bradford P.; Kibrick, Robert I.

    2015-06-01

    We report the discovery of two super-Earth-mass planets orbiting the nearby K0.5 dwarf HD 7924, which was previously known to host one small planet. The new companions have masses of 7.9 and 6.4 {{M}\\oplus }, and orbital periods of 15.3 and 24.5 days. We perform a joint analysis of high-precision radial velocity data from Keck/HIRES and the new Automated Planet Finder Telescope (APF) to robustly detect three total planets in the system. We refine the ephemeris of the previously known planet using 5 yr of new Keck data and high-cadence observations over the last 1.3 yr with the APF. With this new ephemeris, we show that a previous transit search for the inner-most planet would have covered 70% of the predicted ingress or egress times. Photometric data collected over the last eight years using the Automated Photometric Telescope shows no evidence for transits of any of the planets, which would be detectable if the planets transit and their compositions are hydrogen-dominated. We detect a long-period signal that we interpret as the stellar magnetic activity cycle since it is strongly correlated with the Ca ii H and K activity index. We also detect two additional short-period signals that we attribute to rotationally modulated starspots and a one-month alias. The high-cadence APF data help to distinguish between the true orbital periods and aliases caused by the window function of the Keck data. The planets orbiting HD 7924 are a local example of the compact, multi-planet systems that the Kepler Mission found in great abundance. Based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. Keck time was granted for this project by the University of Hawai‘i, the University of California, and NASA.

  13. M-dwarf rapid rotators and the detection of relatively young multiple M-star systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rappaport, S.; Joss, M.; Sanchis-Ojeda, R.

    2014-01-01

    We have searched the Kepler light curves of ∼3900 M-star targets for evidence of periodicities that indicate, by means of the effects of starspots, rapid stellar rotation. Several analysis techniques, including Fourier transforms, inspection of folded light curves, 'sonograms', and phase tracking of individual modulation cycles, were applied in order to distinguish the periodicities due to rapid rotation from those due to stellar pulsations, eclipsing binaries, or transiting planets. We find 178 Kepler M-star targets with rotation periods, P rot , of <2 days, and 110 with P rot < 1 day. Some 30 of the 178 systems exhibit two or more independent short periods within the same Kepler photometric aperture, while several have 3 or more short periods. Adaptive optics imaging and modeling of the Kepler pixel response function for a subset of our sample support the conclusion that the targets with multiple periods are highly likely to be relatively young physical binary, triple, and even quadruple M star systems. We explore in detail the one object with four incommensurate periods all less than 1.2 days, and show that two of the periods arise from one of a close pair of stars, while the other two arise from the second star, which itself is probably a visual binary. If most of these M-star systems with multiple periods turn out to be bound M stars, this could prove a valuable way discovering young hierarchical M-star systems; the same approach may also be applicable to G and K stars. The ∼5% occurrence rate of rapid rotation among the ∼3900 M star targets is consistent with spin evolution models that include an initial contraction phase followed by magnetic braking, wherein a typical M star can spend several hundred Myr before spinning down to periods longer than 2 days.

  14. The inflated radii of M dwarfs in the Pleiades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, R. J.; Deliyannis, Constantine P.; Jeffries, R. D.

    2018-05-01

    Rotation periods obtained with the Kepler satellite have been combined with precise measurements of projected rotation velocity from the WIYN 3.5-m telescope to determine the distribution of projected radii for several hundred low-mass (0.1 ≤ M/M⊙ ≤ 0.8), fast-rotating members of the Pleiades cluster. A maximum likelihood modelling technique, that takes account of observational uncertainties, selection effects and censored data, and considers the effects of differential rotation and unresolved binarity, has been used to find that the average radius of these stars is 14 ± 2 per cent larger at a given luminosity than predicted by current evolutionary models of Dotter et al. and Baraffe et al. The same models are a reasonable match to the interferometric radii of older, magnetically inactive field M dwarfs, suggesting that the over-radius may be associated with the young, magnetically active nature of the Pleiades objects. No evidence is found for any change in this over-radius above and below the boundary marking the transition to full convection. Published evolutionary models that incorporate either the effects of magnetic inhibition of convection or the blocking of flux by dark star-spots do not individually explain the radius inflation, but a combination of the two effects might. The distribution of projected radii is consistent with the adopted hypothesis of a random spatial orientation of spin axes; strong alignments of the spin vectors into cones with an opening semi-angle <30° can be ruled out. Any plausible but weaker alignment would increase the inferred over-radius.

  15. EarthFinder: A Precise Radial Velocity Survey Probe Mission of our Nearest Stellar Neighbors for Earth-Mass Habitable Zone Analogs Using High-Resolution UV-Vis-NIR Echelle Spectroscopy on a Space Platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plavchan, Peter; EarthFinder Team

    2018-01-01

    We are investigating the science case for a 1.0-1.4 meter space telescope to survey the closest, brightest FGKM main sequence stars to search for Habitable Zone (HZ) Earth analogs using the precise radial velocity (PRV) technique at a precision of 1-10 cm/s. Our baseline instrument concept uses two diffraction-limited spectrographs operating in the 0.4-1.0 microns and 1.0-2.4 microns spectral regions each with a spectral resolution of R=150,000~200,000, with the possibility of a third UV arm. Because the instrument utilizes a diffraction-limited input beam, the spectrograph would be extremely compact, less than 50 cm on a side, and illumination can be stabilized with the coupling of starlight into single mode fibers. With two octaves of wavelength coverage and a cadence unimpeded by any diurnal, seasonal, and atmospheric effects, EarthFinder will offer a unique platform for recovering stellar activity signals from starspots, plages, granulation, etc. to detect exoplanets at velocity semi-amplitudes currently not obtainable from the ground. Variable telluric absorption and emission lines may potentially preclude achieving PRV measurements at or below 10 cm/s in the visible and advantage compared to an annual ~3-6 month observing season from the ground for mitigating stellar activity and detecting the orbital periods of HZ Earth-mass analogs (e.g. ~6-months to ~2 years). Finally, we are compiling a list of ancillary science cases for the observatory, ranging from asteroseismology to the direct measurement of the expansion of the Universe.

  16. XMM-Newton detects X-ray 'solar cycle' in distant star

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-05-01

    other stars as well. A team of astronomers, led by Fabio Favata, from ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre, The Netherlands, has monitored a small number of solar-type stars since the beginning of the XMM-Newton mission in 2000. The X-ray brightness of HD 81809, a star located 90 light years away in the constellation Hydra (the water snake), has varied by more than 10 times over the past two and a half years, reaching a well defined peak in mid 2002. The star has shown the characteristic X-ray modulation (brightening and dimming) typical of the solar cycle. "This is the first clear sign of a cyclic pattern in the X-ray emission of stars other than the Sun," said Favata. Furthermore, the data show that these variations are synchronised with the starspot cycle. If HD 81809 behaves like the Sun, its X-ray brightness can vary by a factor of one hundred over a few years. "We might well have caught HD 81809 at the beginning of an X-ray activity cycle," added Favata. The existence of starspot cycles on other stars had already been established long ago, thanks to observations that began in the 1950s. However, scientists did not know whether the X-ray radiation would also vary with the number of starspots. ESA's XMM-Newton has now shown that this is indeed the case and that this cyclic X-ray pattern is not typical of the Sun alone. "This suggests that our Sun's behaviour is probably nothing exceptional," said Favata. Besides its interest for scientists, the Sun's cyclical behaviour can have an influence on everyone on Earth. Our climate is known to be significantly affected by the high-energy radiation emitted by the Sun. For instance, a temporary disappearance of the solar cycle in the 18th century corresponded with an exceptionally cold period on Earth. Similarly, in the early phases of the lifetime of a planet, this high-energy radiation has a strong influence on the conditions of the atmosphere, and thus potentially on the development of life. Finding out

  17. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE LOW-MASS ECLIPSING BINARY NSVS 02502726

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jae Woo; Youn, Jae-Hyuck; Kim, Seung-Lee; Lee, Chung-Uk, E-mail: jwlee@kasi.re.kr, E-mail: jhyoon@kasi.re.kr, E-mail: slkim@kasi.re.kr, E-mail: leecu@kasi.re.kr [Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Daejon 305-348 (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-01-01

    NSVS 02502726 has been known as a double-lined, detached eclipsing binary that consists of two low-mass stars. We obtained BVRI photometric follow-up observations in 2009 and 2011 to measure improved physical properties of the binary star. Each set of light curves, including the 2008 data given by Cakirli et al., was simultaneously analyzed with the previously published radial velocity curves using the Wilson-Devinney binary code. The conspicuous seasonal light variations of the system are satisfactorily modeled by a two-spot model with one starspot on each component and by changes of the spot parameters with time. Based on 23 eclipse timings calculated from the synthetic model and one ephemeris epoch, an orbital period study of NSVS 02502726 reveals that the period has experienced a continuous decrease of -5.9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -7} day yr{sup -1} or a sinusoidal variation with a period and semi-amplitude of 2.51 yr and 0.0011 days, respectively. The timing variations could be interpreted as either the light-travel-time effect due to the presence of an unseen third body, or as the combination of this effect and angular momentum loss via magnetic stellar wind braking. Individual masses and radii of both components are determined to be M{sub 1} = 0.689 {+-} 0.016 M{sub Sun }, M{sub 2} = 0.341 {+-} 0.009 M{sub Sun }, R{sub 1} = 0.707 {+-} 0.007 R{sub Sun }, and R{sub 2} = 0.657 {+-} 0.008 R{sub Sun }. The results are very different from those of Cakirli et al. with the primary's radius (0.674 {+-} 0.006 R{sub Sun }) smaller the secondary's (0.763 {+-} 0.007 R{sub Sun }). We compared the physical parameters presented in this paper with current low-mass stellar models and found that the measured values of the primary star are best fitted to a 79 Myr isochrone. The primary is in good agreement with the empirical mass-radius relation from low-mass binaries, but the secondary is oversized by about 85%.

  18. PERIODIC AND APERIODIC VARIABILITY IN THE MOLECULAR CLOUD ρ OPHIUCHUS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parks, J. Robert; Plavchan, Peter; Gee, Alan H.; White, Russel J.

    2014-01-01

    Presented are the results of a near-IR photometric survey of 1678 stars in the direction of the ρ Ophiuchus (ρ Oph) star forming region using data from the 2MASS Calibration Database. For each target in this sample, up to 1584 individual J-, H-, and K s -band photometric measurements with a cadence of ∼1 day are obtained over three observing seasons spanning ∼2.5 yr; it is the most intensive survey of stars in this region to date. This survey identifies 101 variable stars with ΔK s -band amplitudes from 0.044 to 2.31 mag and Δ(J – K s ) color amplitudes ranging from 0.053 to 1.47 mag. Of the 72 young ρ Oph star cluster members included in this survey, 79% are variable; in addition, 22 variable stars are identified as candidate members. Based on the temporal behavior of the K s time-series, the variability is distinguished as either periodic, long time-scale or irregular. This temporal behavior coupled with the behavior of stellar colors is used to assign a dominant variability mechanism. A new period-searching algorithm finds periodic signals in 32 variable stars with periods between 0.49 to 92 days. The chief mechanism driving the periodic variability for 18 stars is rotational modulation of cool starspots while 3 periodically vary due to accretion-induced hot spots. The time-series for six variable stars contains discrete periodic ''eclipse-like'' features with periods ranging from 3 to 8 days. These features may be asymmetries in the circumstellar disk, potentially sustained or driven by a proto-planet at or near the co-rotation radius. Aperiodic, long time-scale variations in stellar flux are identified in the time-series for 31 variable stars with time-scales ranging from 64 to 790 days. The chief mechanism driving long time-scale variability is variable extinction or mass accretion rates. The majority of the variable stars (40) exhibit sporadic, aperiodic variability over no discernable time-scale. No chief variability mechanism

  19. PERIODIC AND APERIODIC VARIABILITY IN THE MOLECULAR CLOUD ρ OPHIUCHUS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parks, J. Robert; Plavchan, Peter; Gee, Alan H. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Mail Code 100-22, 770 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); White, Russel J., E-mail: parksj@chara.gsu.edu [Georgia State University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, 25 Park Place, Room 605, Atlanta, GA 30303 (United States)

    2014-03-01

    Presented are the results of a near-IR photometric survey of 1678 stars in the direction of the ρ Ophiuchus (ρ Oph) star forming region using data from the 2MASS Calibration Database. For each target in this sample, up to 1584 individual J-, H-, and K{sub s} -band photometric measurements with a cadence of ∼1 day are obtained over three observing seasons spanning ∼2.5 yr; it is the most intensive survey of stars in this region to date. This survey identifies 101 variable stars with ΔK{sub s} -band amplitudes from 0.044 to 2.31 mag and Δ(J – K{sub s} ) color amplitudes ranging from 0.053 to 1.47 mag. Of the 72 young ρ Oph star cluster members included in this survey, 79% are variable; in addition, 22 variable stars are identified as candidate members. Based on the temporal behavior of the K{sub s} time-series, the variability is distinguished as either periodic, long time-scale or irregular. This temporal behavior coupled with the behavior of stellar colors is used to assign a dominant variability mechanism. A new period-searching algorithm finds periodic signals in 32 variable stars with periods between 0.49 to 92 days. The chief mechanism driving the periodic variability for 18 stars is rotational modulation of cool starspots while 3 periodically vary due to accretion-induced hot spots. The time-series for six variable stars contains discrete periodic ''eclipse-like'' features with periods ranging from 3 to 8 days. These features may be asymmetries in the circumstellar disk, potentially sustained or driven by a proto-planet at or near the co-rotation radius. Aperiodic, long time-scale variations in stellar flux are identified in the time-series for 31 variable stars with time-scales ranging from 64 to 790 days. The chief mechanism driving long time-scale variability is variable extinction or mass accretion rates. The majority of the variable stars (40) exhibit sporadic, aperiodic variability over no discernable time-scale. No chief

  20. The Case of the Tail Wagging the Dog: HD 189733 - Evidence of Hot Jupiter Exoplanets Spinning-up Their Host Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinan, E. F.

    2013-06-01

    (Abstract only) HD 189733A is an eighth mag K1.5V star that has attracted much attention because it hosts a short period, transiting, hot-Jupiter planet. This planet, HD 189733b, has one of the shortest known orbital periods (P = 2.22 days) and is only 0.031 AU from its host star. Because the system undergoes eclipses and is bright, HD 189733 has been extensively studied. The planet's atmosphere has been found to contain water vapor, methane, CO2, and sodium and possible haze. Spitzer IR observations indicate planet temperature, varying ~970 K to ~1,200 K over its surface (Tinetti (2007). Based on measurements of the K-star's P(rot) from starspot modulations of ~11.95 d, strong coronal X-ray emission and chromospheric Ca II-HK emission indicate a young age of ~0.7 Gyr. But this apparent young age is discrepant with a much older age (> 4 Gyr) inferred from the star's very low Lithium abundance. However, the age of the HD 189733 system can be independently determined by the presence of a faint dM4 companion (HD 189733B) some 12" away. Our Age-Activity relations for this star (no detectable coronal X-ray emission and no H-alpha emission) indicate an age > 4 Gyr (and < 8 Gyr from kinematics and metallicity). This age should apply to its K star companion and its planet. The fast rotation and resultant high activity levels of the K star can best be explained from the increase in its (rotation) angular momentum (AM) from the orbital AM of the planet. This AM transfer occurs from tidal and magnetic interactions of the K star with its planet. Determining the possible decrease in the planet's orbital period is possible from studying the planet eclipse times (which can be done by AAVSO members with CCD photometry). We also discuss the properties of other related short-period exoplanet systems found by the Kepler Mission that show similar behavior - in that close-in hot Jupiter size planets appear to be physically interacting with their host stars. This work is supported by

  1. Another Possibility for Boyajian's Star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    The unusual light curve of the star KIC 8462852, also known as Tabbys star or Boyajians star, has puzzled us since its discovery last year. A new study now explores whether the stars missing flux is due to internal blockage rather than something outside of the star.Mysterious DipsMost explanations for the flux dips of Boyajians star rely on external factors, like this illustrated swarm of comets. [NASA/JPL-Caltech]Boyajians star shows unusual episodes of dimming in its light curve by as much as 20%, each lasting a few to tens of days and separated by periods of typically hundreds of days. In addition, archival observations show that it has gradually faded by roughly 15% over the span of the last hundred years. What could be causing both the sporadic flux dips and the long-term fading of this odd star?Explanations thus far have varied from mundane to extreme. Alien megastructures, pieces of smashed planets or comets orbiting the star, and intervening interstellar medium have all been proposed as possible explanations but these require some object external to the star. A new study by researcher Peter Foukal proposes an alternative: what if the source of the flux obstruction is the star itself?Analogy to the SunDecades ago, researchers discovered that our own stars total flux isnt as constant as we thought. When magnetic dark spots on the Suns surface block the heat transport, the Suns luminosity dips slightly. The diverted heat is redistributed in the Suns interior, becoming stored as a very small global heating and expansion of the convective envelope. When the blocking starspot is removed, the Sun appears slightly brighter than it did originally. Its luminosity then gradually relaxes, decaying back to its original value.Model of a stars flux after a 1,000-km starspot is inserted at time t = 0 and removed at time t = ts at a depth of 10,000 km in the convective zone. The stars luminosity dips, then becomes brighter than originally, and then gradually decays. [Foukal

  2. Precision modelling of M dwarf stars: the magnetic components of CM Draconis

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, J.; Mullan, D. J.

    2012-04-01

    The eclipsing binary CM Draconis (CM Dra) contains two nearly identical red dwarfs of spectral class dM4.5. The masses and radii of the two components have been reported with unprecedentedly small statistical errors: for M, these errors are 1 part in 260, while for R, the errors reported by Morales et al. are 1 part in 130. When compared with standard stellar models with appropriate mass and age (≈4 Gyr), the empirical results indicate that both components are discrepant from the models in the following sense: the observed stars are larger in R ('bloated'), by several standard deviations, than the models predict. The observed luminosities are also lower than the models predict. Here, we attempt at first to model the two components of CM Dra in the context of standard (non-magnetic) stellar models using a systematic array of different assumptions about helium abundances (Y), heavy element abundances (Z), opacities and mixing length parameter (α). We find no 4-Gyr-old models with plausible values of these four parameters that fit the observed L and R within the reported statistical error bars. However, CM Dra is known to contain magnetic fields, as evidenced by the occurrence of star-spots and flares. Here we ask: can inclusion of magnetic effects into stellar evolution models lead to fits of L and R within the error bars? Morales et al. have reported that the presence of polar spots results in a systematic overestimate of R by a few per cent when eclipses are interpreted with a standard code. In a star where spots cover a fraction f of the surface area, we find that the revised R and L for CM Dra A can be fitted within the error bars by varying the parameter α. The latter is often assumed to be reduced by the presence of magnetic fields, although the reduction in α as a function of B is difficult to quantify. An alternative magnetic effect, namely inhibition of the onset of convection, can be readily quantified in terms of a magnetic parameter δ≈B2/4

  3. The Spinning Corona of FK Comae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashyap, Vinay

    2010-09-01

    mapped onto specific locations in the global profile, according to the line-of-sight rotational velocity. On the other hand, we compare features of different opacity and excitation {e.g., SiIII 1206, SiIII 1892, and SiIV 1393} to deduce whether, say, a red asymmetry is caused by blueshifted absorption, or alternatively by infall of the entire feature. Multiple epochs spaced over two rotation periods break the degeneracy between profile distortions caused by disk passage of hot patches {Doppler imaging part}, and those caused by large-scale gas kinematics. Contemporaneous starspot maps from the ground will provide a fundamental magnetic context for the coordinated FUV and X-ray campaigns.

  4. RACE-OC project: Rotation and variability of young stellar associations within 100 pc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messina, S.; Desidera, S.; Turatto, M.; Lanzafame, A. C.; Guinan, E. F.

    2010-09-01

    Context. Examining the angular momentum of stars and its interplay with their magnetic fields represent a promising way to probe the stellar internal structure and evolution of low-mass stars. Aims: We attempt to determine the rotational and magnetic-related activity properties of stars at different stages of evolution.We focused our attention primarily on members of clusters and young stellar associations of known ages. In this study, our targets are 6 young loose stellar associations within 100 pc and with ages in the range 8-70 Myr: TW Hydrae (~8 Myr), β Pictoris (~10 Myr), Tucana/Horologium, Columba, Carina (~30 Myr), and AB Doradus (~70 Myr). Additional rotational data for α Persei and the Pleiades from the literature are also considered. Methods: Rotational periods of stars exhibiting rotational modulation due to photospheric magnetic activity (i.e., starspots) were determined by applying the Lomb-Scargle periodogram technique to photometric time-series data obtained by the All Sky Automated Survey (ASAS). The magnetic activity level was derived from the amplitude of the V lightcurves. The statistical significance of the rotational evolution at different ages was inferred by applying a two-sided Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to subsequent age-bins. Results: We detected the rotational modulation and measured the rotation periods of 93 stars for the first time, and confirmed the periods of 41 stars already known from the literature. For an additional 10 stars, we revised the period determinations by other authors. The sample was augmented with periods of 21 additional stars retrieved from the literature. In this way, for the first time we were able to determine the largest set of rotation periods at ages of ~8, ~10 and ~30 Myr, as well as increase by 150% the number of known periodic members of AB Dor. Conclusions: The analysis of the rotation periods in young stellar associations, supplemented by Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) and NGC 2264 data from the literature

  5. Kepler-77b: a very low albedo, Saturn-mass transiting planet around a metal-rich solar-like star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandolfi, D.; Parviainen, H.; Fridlund, M.; Hatzes, A. P.; Deeg, H. J.; Frasca, A.; Lanza, A. F.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Tognelli, E.; McQuillan, A.; Aigrain, S.; Alonso, R.; Antoci, V.; Cabrera, J.; Carone, L.; Csizmadia, Sz.; Djupvik, A. A.; Guenther, E. W.; Jessen-Hansen, J.; Ofir, A.; Telting, J.

    2013-09-01

    We report the discovery of Kepler-77b (alias KOI-127.01), a Saturn-mass transiting planet in a 3.6-day orbit around a metal-rich solar-like star. We combined the publicly available Kepler photometry (quarters 1-13) with high-resolution spectroscopy from the Sandiford at McDonald and FIES at NOT spectrographs. We derived the system parameters via a simultaneous joint fit to the photometric and radial velocity measurements. Our analysis is based on the Bayesian approach and is carried out by sampling the parameter posterior distributions using a Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation. Kepler-77b is a moderately inflated planet with a mass of Mp = 0.430 ± 0.032 MJup, a radius of Rp = 0.960 ± 0.016 RJup, and a bulk density of ρp = 0.603 ± 0.055 g cm-3. It orbits a slowly rotating (Prot = 36 ± 6 days) G5 V star with M⋆ = 0.95 ± 0.04 M⊙, R⋆ = 0.99 ± 0.02 R⊙, Teff = 5520 ± 60 K, [M/H] = 0.20 ± 0.05 dex, that has an age of 7.5 ± 2.0 Gyr. The lack of detectable planetary occultation with a depth higher than ~10 ppm implies a planet geometric and Bond albedo of Ag ≤ 0.087 ± 0.008 and AB ≤ 0.058 ± 0.006, respectively, placing Kepler-77b among the gas-giant planets with the lowest albedo known so far. We found neither additional planetary transit signals nor transit-timing variations at a level of ~0.5 min, in accordance with the trend that close-in gas giant planets seem to belong to single-planet systems. The 106 transitsobserved in short-cadence mode by Kepler for nearly 1.2 years show no detectable signatures of the planet's passage in front of starspots. We explored the implications of the absence of detectable spot-crossing events for the inclination of the stellar spin-axis, the sky-projected spin-orbit obliquity, and the latitude of magnetically active regions. Based on observations obtained with the 2.1-m Otto Struve telescope at McDonald Observatory, Texas, USA.Based on observations obtained with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operated on the

  6. Rotation and magnetic activity of the Hertzsprung-gap giant 31 Comae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strassmeier, K. G.; Granzer, T.; Kopf, M.; Weber, M.; Küker, M.; Reegen, P.; Rice, J. B.; Matthews, J. M.; Kuschnig, R.; Rowe, J. F.; Guenther, D. B.; Moffat, A. F. J.; Rucinski, S. M.; Sasselov, D.; Weiss, W. W.

    2010-09-01

    and found on average τC ≈ 5 days. Conclusions: 31 Com appears to be just at the onset of rapid magnetic braking and Li dilution because its age almost exactly coincides with the predicted onset of envelope convection. That we recover a big polar starspot despite the Rossby number being larger than unity, and thus no efficient (envelope) dynamo is expected, leads us to conclude that 31 Com still harbors a fossil predominantly poloidal magnetic field. However, the increasing convective envelope may have just started an interface dynamo that now is the source of the warm surface features and the corresponding UV and X-ray emission. Based on data obtained with the MOST satellite, a Canadian Space Agency mission, operated jointly by Dynacon, Inc., and the Universities of Toronto and British Columbia, with assistance from the University of Vienna; the STELLA robotic telescope in Tenerife, an AIP facility jointly operated by AIP and IAC, and the Vienna Automatic Photoelectric Telescopes in Arizona, jointly operated by the University of Vienna and AIP.Full Tables 2 and 3 are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/520/A52

  7. Obituary: David Stanley Evans, 1916-2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bash, Frank N.

    2005-12-01

    headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. David had designed and built a Newtonian spectrograph for the 74-inch Radcliffe Telescope with which he measured the first southern galaxy redshifts. David and his family spent 1965-66 in Austin, Texas, where he was a National Science Foundation Senior Visiting Scientist at the University of Texas and McDonald Observatory. They moved permanently to Austin in 1968 and David became a Professor of Astronomy and Associate Director of McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas at Austin. At McDonald Observatory, R. E. Nather had devised a high-speed photometer capable of measuring millisecond time-scale changes in brightness and with Brian Warner, he invented "high-speed astronomy". This instrument caused Evans to revive his occultation program and, over the next twenty years, he produced the major part of the angular diameters of late-type stars with his students and collaborators. In addition, David and collaborators used the extensive collections of the University of Texas to write "Herschel at the Cape". David was also involved in observing the occultation of ? Sco by Jupiter in 1972 and in observing, during a solar eclipse in 1973, the gravitational deflections in the positions of stars whose light passes near to the Sun. The eclipse was observed from Mauritania, and the observations confirmed Einstein's prediction again. David Evans and his students studied late-type stars that have large star-spots and others that flare. In addition, they studied stars whose lunar occultation observations had revealed them to be double or even more than two stars. David Evans's major scientific contribution was an application of his stellar angular diameters to deduce the surface brightness of stars with the result that with suitable color indices one could use photometry to deduce the angular diameter of stars. This is applicable to stars which can never be occulted by the Moon, and its application to Cepheid variable stars has yielded their

  8. First Solid Evidence for a Rocky Exoplanet - Mass and density of smallest exoplanet finally measured

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

    "starspots" (just like sunspots on our Sun), which are cooler regions on the surface of the star. Therefore, the main signal is linked to the rotation of the star, with makes one complete revolution in about 23 days. To get an answer, astronomers had to call upon the best exoplanet-hunting device in the world, the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectrograph attached to the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. "Even though HARPS is certainly unbeaten when it comes to detecting small exoplanets, the measurements of CoRoT-7b proved to be so demanding that we had to gather 70 hours of observations on the star," says co-author François Bouchy. HARPS delivered, allowing the astronomers to tease out the 20.4-hour signal in the data. This figure led them to infer that CoRoT-7b has a mass of about five Earth masses, placing it in rare company as one of the lightest exoplanets yet found. "Since the planet's orbit is aligned so that we see it crossing the face of its parent star - it is said to be transiting - we can actually measure, and not simply infer, the mass of the exoplanet, which is the smallest that has been precisely measured for an exoplanet [3]," says team member Claire Moutou. "Moreover, as we have both the radius and the mass, we can determine the density and get a better idea of the internal structure of this planet." With a mass much closer to that of Earth than, for example, ice giant Neptune's 17 Earth masses, CoRoT-7b belongs to the category of "super-Earth" exoplanets. About a dozen of these bodies have been detected, though in the case of CoRoT-7b, this is the first time that the density has been measured for such a small exoplanet. The calculated density is close to Earth's, suggesting that the planet's composition is similarly rocky. "CoRoT-7b resulted in a 'tour de force' of astronomical measurements. The superb light curves of the space telescope CoRoT gave us the best radius measurement, and HARPS the best mass