Imaging Starspot Evolution on Kepler Target KIC 5110407 Using Light-Curve Inversion
The Astrophysical Journal
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.
Harmon, Robert O.; Roettenbacher, Rachael; Monnier, John; Barclay, Thomas; and Still, Martin, "Imaging Starspot Evolution on Kepler Target KIC 5110407 Using Light-Curve Inversion" (2013). Physics & Astronomy Faculty Work. 13.
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