Volume 479, Number 2, February IV 2008
|Page(s)||557 - 565|
|Published online||12 December 2007|
Spots, plages, and flares on λ Andromedae and II Pegasi*
INAF – Catania Astrophysical Observatory, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Ege University, Science Faculty, Astronomy and Space Science Dept., 35100 Bornova, İzmir, Turkey
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Astrophysics Section, University of Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
Accepted: 5 November 2007
Aims.We present the results of a contemporaneous photometric and spectroscopic monitoring of two RS CVn binaries, namely λ And and II Peg. The aim of this work is to investigate the behavior of surface inhomogeneities in the atmospheres of the active components of these systems that have nearly the same temperatures but different gravities.
Methods.The light curves and the modulation of the surface temperature, as recovered from line-depth ratios (LDRs), were used to map the photospheric spots, while the Hα emission was used as an indicator of chromospheric inhomogeneities. The spot temperatures and sizes were derived from a spot model applied to the contemporaneous light and temperature curves.
Results.We find larger and cooler spots on II Peg ( K) than on λ And ( K); this could be the result of both the difference in gravity and the higher activity level of the former. Moreover, we find a clear anti-correlation between the Hα emission and the photospheric diagnostics (temperature and light curves). We have detected a modulation in the intensity of the D3 line with the star rotation, suggesting surface features also in the upper chromosphere of these stars. A rough reconstruction of the 3D structure of their atmospheres was also performed by applying a spot/plage model to the light and temperature curves and to the Hα flux modulation. In addition, a strong flare affecting the Hα, the D3, and the cores of D lines has been observed on II Peg.
Conclusions.The spot/plage configuration has been reconstructed in the visible component of λ And and II Peg, which have nearly the same temperature but very different gravities and rotation periods. A close spatial association of photospheric and chromospheric active regions, at the time of our observations, was found in both stars. Larger and cooler spots were found on II Peg, the system with the active component of higher gravity and a higher activity level. The area ratio of plages to spots seems to decrease when the spots get bigger. Moreover, with both this and literature data, a correlation between the temperature difference and the surface gravity is also suggested.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: starspots / stars: chromospheres / stars: individual: λ And / stars: individual: II Peg
© ESO, 2008
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