Using limb darkening to measure fundamental parameters of stars
1 Argelander Institute for Astronomy, University of Bonn, 53012 Bonn, Germany
2 Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6, Canada
3 Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 1K7, Canada
Received: 12 May 2011
Accepted: 19 July 2012
Context. Limb darkening is an important tool for understanding stellar atmospheres, but most observations measuring limb darkening assume various parameterizations that yield no significant information about the structure of stellar atmospheres.
Aims. We use a specific limb-darkening relation to study how the best-fit coefficients relate to fundamental stellar parameters from spherically symmetric model stellar atmospheres.
Methods. Using a grid of spherically symmetric ATLAS model atmospheres, we compute limb-darkening coefficients, and develop a novel method to predict fundamental stellar parameters.
Results. We find our proposed method predicts the mass of stellar atmosphere models given only the radius and limb-darkening coefficients, suggesting that microlensing, interferometric, transit and eclipse observations can constrain stellar masses.
Conclusions. This novel method demonstrates that limb-darkening parameterizations contain important information about the structure of stellar atmospheres, with the potential to be a valuable tool for measuring stellar masses.
Key words: stars: atmospheres / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: late-type
© ESO, 2012