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Keywords:

  • starspots;
  • stars: rotation;
  • techniques: photometric

Abstract

The NASA Kepler mission yields an unprecedented amount of data in the form of photometric light curves. Apart from valuable information on exoplanets and stellar pulsations, the light curves contain rotation signals from starspots crossing the stellar disk. These modulations of the light curves are modeled and 105 simulations are carried out to analyze and understand a similar analysis of the Kepler light curves. The periodogram is calculated for each light curve. Under the assumption that the main source of variability at periods >1 day is due to spots, the simulations show that the rotation period can be easily determined for spot lifetimes of 30–60 days, but becomes more unreliable for spots lifetimes of 10–20 days. The amplitude of the periodogram peaks appear to be only weakly dependent on changes in the size of the spots, while the width of the peaks shows no clear change with increasing spot lifetimes (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)