The microlensing signatures of photospheric starspots

Hendry, M. , Bryce, H. and Valls-Gabaud, D. (2002) The microlensing signatures of photospheric starspots. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 335(3), 539 -549. (doi: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05496.x)

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Point lens microlensing events with impact parameter close to the source stellar radius allow the observer to study the surface brightness profile of the lensed source. We have examined the effects of photospheric starspots on multicolour microlensing light curves and investigated the detectability of such spots in different wavebands as a function of spot temperature, position, radius and lens trajectories. We include the effects of limb darkening and spot projection as a function of position on the stellar disc. In particular we apply the updated, state-of-the-art 'NextGen' stellar atmosphere models of Hauschildt et al. (1999) which predict very strong limb darkening, and which are likely to be applicable to the source stars considered. Our results indicate that starspots generally give a clear signature only for transit events. Moreover, this signature is strongly suppressed by limb darkening for spots close to the limb, although the spots may still be clearly detected for favourable lens trajectories. It is also clear that intensive temporal sampling throughout the duration of the transit is necessary in order for such events to be effective as a tool for imaging stellar photospheres. None the less, with sufficiently well-sampled light curves of good photometric precision, microlensing can indeed place useful constraints on the presence or otherwise of photospheric starspots.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hendry, Professor Martin
Authors: Hendry, M., Bryce, H., and Valls-Gabaud, D.
Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1365-2966

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