Photospheric activity, rotation, and radial velocity variations of the planet-hosting star CoRoT-7*
INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (UMR 6110), Technopole de Château-Gombert, 38 rue Frédéric Joliot-Curie, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
3 Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK
4 Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 Ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
5 LESIA, CNRS UMR 8109, Observatoire de Paris, 5 place J. Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
6 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland
Accepted: 17 May 2010
Context. The CoRoT satellite has recently discovered the transits of an Earth-like planet across the disc of a late-type magnetically active star dubbed CoRoT-7, while a second planet was detected after filtering out the radial velocity (hereafter RV) variations due to stellar activity.
Aims. We investigate the magnetic activity of CoRoT-7 and use the results for a better understanding of the impact of magnetic activity on stellar RV variations.
Methods. We derived the longitudinal distribution of active regions on CoRoT-7 from a maximum entropy spot model of the CoRoT lightcurve. Assuming that each active region consists of dark spots and bright faculae in a fixed proportion, we synthesized the expected RV variations.
Results. Active regions are mainly located at three active longitudes that appear to migrate at different rates, probably as a consequence of surface differential rotation, for which a lower limit of ΔΩ/Ω = 0.058 ± 0.017 is found. The synthesized activity-induced RV variations reproduce the amplitude of the observed RV curve and are used to study the impact of stellar activity on planetary detection.
Conclusions. In spite of the non-simultaneous CoRoT and HARPS observations, our study confirms the validity of the method previously adopted to filter out RV variations induced by stellar activity. We find a false-alarm probability <10-4 that the RV oscillations attributed to CoRoT-7b and CoRoT-7c are spurious effects of noise and activity. Additionally, our model suggests that other periodicities found in the observed RV curve of CoRoT-7 could be explained by active regions whose visibility is modulated by a differential stellar rotation with periods ranging from 23.6 to 27.6 days.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: magnetic field / stars: late-type / stars: rotation / planetary systems / stars: individual: CoRoT-7
© ESO, 2010