Volume 630, October 2019
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Published online||02 October 2019|
Model-free inverse method for transit imaging of stellar surfaces
Using transit surveys to map stellar spot coverage
Observational Astronomy, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University,
Accepted: 6 February 2019
Context. We present a model-free method for mapping surface brightness variations.
Aims. We aim to develop a method that is not dependent on either stellar atmosphere models or limb-darkening equation. This method is optimized for exoplanet transit surveys such that a large database of stellar spot coverage can be created.
Methods. The method uses light curves from several transit events of the same system. These light curves are phase-folded and median-combined to for a high-quality light curve without temporal local brightness variations. Stellar specific intensities are extracted from this light curve using a model-free method. We search individual light curves for departures from the median-combined light curve. Such departures are interpreted as brightness variations on the stellar surface. A map of brightness variations on the stellar surface is produced by finding the brightness distribution that can produce a synthetic light curve that fits observations well. No assumptions about the size, shape, or contrast of brightness variations are made.
Results. We successfully reproduce maps of stellar disks from both synthetic data and archive observations from FORS2, the visual and near UV FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph for the Very Large Telescope (VLT).
Key words: methods: data analysis / starspots / surveys
© ESO 2019
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