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Doppler Imaging of Stars with Surface Inhomogeneities

  • Andrew Collier Cameron (a1)

Abstract

I review recent progress in the field of stellar surface imaging, with particular reference to advanced methods for mapping surface-brightness distributions on magnetically active late-type stars. New signal enhancement techniques, utilising profile information from hundreds or thousands of photospheric lines simultaneously, allow images to be derived for stars several magnitudes fainter than was previously possible. For brighter stars, the same techniques make it possible to map features as small as two or three degrees in extent on the stellar surface. While this opens up whole new areas of research, such as the ability to use starspot tracking to study surface differential rotation patterns on single and binary stars, caution must be exercised in the treatment of “nuisance” parameters such as the stellar rotation rate, surface abundances and radial velocity. At the very high S:N levels we now use, the effects of systematic errors in these parameters are easier to identify, isolate and eliminate. This leads to the possibility of making precise radial velocity variations (at the few hundred m s−2 level or better) in late-type stars even with equatorial rotation speeds as high as 100 km s−1. This is particularly topical given the recent discovery that one of our prime imaging targets, the young southern K0 dwarf AB Doradus, has an astrometric companion in a highly eccentric orbit with an inferred mass close to the H-burning limit.

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Copyright

References

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