Volume 649, May 2021
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||27 May 2021|
Simulations of starspot anomalies within TESS exoplanetary transit light curves
II. Forecasting the frequency of starspot anomalies appearing in TESS exoplanetary transit light curves
Instituto de Investigación en Astronomia y Ciencias Planetarias, Universidad de Atacama,
2 Centro de Astronomía (CITEVA), Universidad de Antofagasta, Avenida U. de Antofagasta 02800, Antofagasta, Chile
Accepted: 24 March 2021
Aims. We determine the starspot detection rate in exoplanetary transit light curves for M and K dwarf stars observed by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) using various starspot filling factors and starspot distributions.
Methods. We used 3.6 × 109 simulations of planetary transits around spotted stars using the transit-starspot model PRISM. The simulations cover a range of starspot filling factors using one of three distributions: uniform, polar-biased, and mid-latitude. After construction of the stellar disc and starspots, we checked the transit cord for starspots and examined the change in flux of each starspot to determine whether or not a starspot anomaly would be detected. The results were then compared to predicted planetary detections for TESS.
Results. The results show that for the case of a uniform starspot distribution, 64 ± 9 M dwarf and 23 ± 4 K dwarf transit light curves observed by TESS will contain a starspot anomaly. This reduces to 37 ± 6 M dwarf and 12 ± 2 K dwarf light curves for a polar-biased distribution and 47 ± 7 M dwarf and 21 ± 4 K dwarf light curves for a mid-latitude distribution.
Conclusions. Currently there are only 17 M dwarf and 10 K dwarf confirmed planetary systems from TESS, none of which are confirmed as showing starspot anomalies. All three starspot distributions can explain the current trend. However, with such a small sample, a firm conclusion cannot be made at present. In the coming years when more TESS M and K dwarf exoplanetary systems have been detected and characterised, it will be possible to determine the dominant starspot distribution.
Key words: stars: late-type / stars: activity / starspots / planets and satellites: general / methods: numerical / techniques: photometric
© ESO 2021
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