From solar to stellar brightness variations
The effect of metallicity
1 Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi 446-701, Republic of Korea
3 Physikalisch-Meteorologishes Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center, 7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
Accepted: 30 August 2018
Context. Comparison studies of Sun-like stars with the Sun suggest an anomalously low photometric variability of the Sun compared to Sun-like stars with similar magnetic activity. Comprehensive understanding of stellar variability is needed to find a physical reason for this observation.
Aims. We investigate the effect of metallicity and effective temperature on the photometric brightness change of Sun-like stars seen at different inclinations. The considered range of fundamental stellar parameters is sufficiently small so the stars investigated here still count as Sun-like or even as solar twins.
Methods. To model the brightness change of stars with solar magnetic activity, we extended a well-established model of solar brightness variations based on solar spectra, Spectral And Total Irradiance REconstruction (SATIRE), to stars with different fundamental parameters. For this we calculated stellar spectra for different metallicities and effective temperature using the radiative transfer code ATLAS9.
Results. We show that even a small change (e.g. within the observational error range) of metallicity or effective temperature significantly affects the photometric brightness change compared to the Sun. We find that for Sun-like stars, the amplitude of the brightness variations obtained for Strömgren (b + y)/2 reaches a local minimum for fundamental stellar parameters close to the solar metallicity and effective temperature. Moreover, our results show that the effect of inclination decreases for metallicity values greater than the solar metallicity. Overall, we find that an exact determination of fundamental stellar parameters is crucially important for understanding stellar brightness changes.
Key words: stars: variables: general / stars: activity / stars: atmospheres / stars: fundamental parameters / radiative transfer
© ESO 2018