25 research outputs found

    Time evolution and rotation of starspots on CoRoT-2 from the modelling of transit photometry

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    CoRoT-2, the second planet-hosting star discovered by the CoRoT satellite, is a young and active star. A total of 77 transits were observed for this system over a period of 135 days. Small modulations detected in the optical light curve of the planetary transits are used to study the position, size, intensity, and temporal evolution of the photospheric spots on the surface of the star that are occulted by the planetary disk. We apply a spot model to these variations and create a spot map of the stellar surface of CoRoT-2 within the transit band for every transit. From these maps, we estimate the stellar rotation period and obtain the longitudes of the spots in a reference frame rotating with the star. Moreover, the spots temporal evolution is determined. This model achieves a spatial resolution of 2\circ. Mapping of 392 spots vs. longitude indicates the presence of a region free of spots, close to the equator, reminiscent of the coronal holes observed on the Sun during periods of maximum activity. With this interpretation, the stellar rotation period within the transit latitudes of -14.\circ 6 \pm 10 \circ is found to be 4.48 days. This rotation period is shorter than the 4.54 days as derived from the out-of-transit light modulation. Since the transit data samples a region close to the stellar equator, while the period determined from out-of-transit data reflects the average rotation of the star, this is taken as an indication of a latitudinal differential rotation of about 3% or 0.042 rad/d.Comment: 8 pages, 12 figure

    Estimating stellar rotation from starspot detection during planetary transits

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    A new method for determining the stellar rotation period is proposed here, based on the detection of starspots during transits of an extra-solar planet orbiting its host star. As the planet eclipses the star, it may pass in front of a starspot which will then make itself known through small flux variations in the transit light curve. If we are lucky enough to catch the same spot on two consecutive transits, it is possible to estimate the stellar rotational period. This method is successfully tested on transit simulations on the Sun yielding the correct value for the solar period. By detecting two starspots on more than one transit of HD 209458 observed by the Hubble Space Telescope, it was possible to estimate a period of either 9.9 or 11.4 days for the star, depending on which spot is responsible for the signature in the light curve a few transits later. Comparison with period estimates of HD209458 reported in the literature indicates that 11.4 days is the most likely stellar rotation period.Comment: 13 pages, 5 figure

    Association of radio polar cap brightening with bright patches and coronal holes

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    Radio-bright regions near the solar poles are frequently observed in Nobeyama Radioheliograph (NoRH) maps at 17 GHz, and often in association with coronal holes. However, the origin of these polar brightening has not been established yet. We propose that small magnetic loops are the source of these bright patches, and present modeling results that reproduce the main observational characteristics of the polar brightening within coronal holes at 17 GHz. The simulations were carried out by calculating the radio emission of the small loops, with several temperature and density profiles, within a 2D coronal hole atmospheric model. If located at high latitudes, the size of the simulated bright patches are much smaller than the beam size and they present the instrument beam size when observed. The larger bright patches can be generated by a great number of small magnetic loops unresolved by the NoRH beam. Loop models that reproduce bright patches contain denser and hotter plasma near the upper chromosphere and lower corona. On the other hand, loops with increased plasma density and temperature only in the corona do not contribute to the emission at 17 GHz. This could explain the absence of a one-to-one association between the 17 GHz bright patches and those observed in extreme ultraviolet. Moreover, the emission arising from small magnetic loops located close to the limb may merge with the usual limb brightening profile, increasing its brightness temperature and width.Comment: 8 pages, 6 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    The Submillimeter Active Region Excess Brightness Temperature during Solar Cycles 23 and 24

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    We report the temporal evolution of the excess brightness temperature above solar active regions (ARs) observed with the Solar Submillimeter Telescope (SST) at 212 ({\lambda} = 1.4 mm) and 405 GHz ({\lambda} = 0.7 mm) during Cycles 23 and 24. Comparison with the sunspot number (SSN) yields a Pearson's correlation coefficient R = 0.88 and 0.74 for 212 and 405 GHz, respectively. Moreover, when only Cycle 24 is taken into account the correlation coefficients go to 0.93 and 0.81 for each frequency. We derive the spectral index {\alpha} between SST frequencies and found a slight anti-correlation with the SSN (R = -0.25); however, since the amplitude of the variation is lower than the standard deviation we cannot draw a definite conclusion. Indeed, {\alpha} remains almost constant within the uncertainties with a median value approximate to 0 characteristic of an optically thick thermal source. Since the origin of the AR submillimeter radiation is thermal continuum produced at chromospheric heights, the strong correlation between the excess brightness temperature and the magnetic cycle evolution could be related to the available free magnetic energy to be released in reconnection events.Comment: Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journa

    Statistical analysis of the onset temperature of solar flares in 2010-2011

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    Understanding the physical processes that trigger solar flares is paramount to help with forecasting space weather and mitigating the effects on our technological infrastructure. A previously unknown phenomenon was recently identified in solar flares: the plasma temperature, derived from soft X-ray (SXR) data, at the onset of four flares, was revealed to be in the range 10-15 MK, without evidence of gradual heating. To investigate how common the hot-onset phenomenon may be, we extend this investigation to solar flares of B1.2- X6.9 classes recorded by the X-ray Sensor (XRS) on-board the GOES-14 and GOES-15 satellites between 2010 and 2011. For this statistical study, we employed the same methodology as in recent work, where the pre-flare SXR flux of each flare is obtained manually, and the temperature and emission measure values are obtained by the flux ratio of the two GOES/XRS channels using the standard software. From 3224 events listed in the GOES flare catalog for 2010-2011, we have selected and analyzed 745 events for which the flare heliographic location was provided in the list, to investigate center-to-limb effects of the hot-onset phenomenon. Our results show that 559 out of 745 flares (75%) exhibit an onset temperature above 8.6 MK (the first quartile), with respective log10 of the emission measure values between 46.0 - 47.25 cm-3, indicating that small amounts of plasma are quickly heated to high temperatures. These results suggest that the hot-onset phenomenon is very common in solar flares.Comment: 6 pages,7 figure

    Rotation of planet-harbouring stars

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    The rotation rate of a star has important implications for the detectability, characterisation and stability of any planets that may be orbiting it. This chapter gives a brief overview of stellar rotation before describing the methods used to measure the rotation periods of planet host stars, the factors affecting the evolution of a star's rotation rate, stellar age estimates based on rotation, and an overview of the observed trends in the rotation properties of stars with planets.Comment: 16 pages, 4 figures: Invited review to appear in 'Handbook of Exoplanets', Springer Reference Works, edited by Hans J. Deeg and Juan Antonio Belmont

    Rotation Profile of Kepler-63 from Planetary Transits

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    Differential rotation of stars with multiple transiting planets

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