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Starspot temporal evolution

Grant number: 12/17062-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2012
Effective date (End): July 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Astronomy - Stellar Astrophysics
Principal Investigator:Adriana Benetti Marques Valio
Grantee:Dirceu Yuri Simplicio Netto
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia (EE). Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (UPM). Instituto Presbiteriano Mackenzie. São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Currently, it is believed that about 10% of Sun-like stars harbour planets around them. Today there are nearly 800 known planets and approximately 30% of these eclipses their host star. When passing in front of the star, the planet might cross in front of a spot on the surface of the star causing a small variation in the light curve during the transit. By using a model that simulates the transit of a planet in front of a star with spots, it is possible to characterize these spots. The fit of these small signatures in the light curve caused by the presence of spots provides the spot physical parameters such as size and intensity. This method has been applied to five stars observed by COROT. The objective of this work is to use these results to study the temporal evolution of these spots, that is, as the spots on the surface of other stars grow or shrink and how its brightness changes as it evolves. The project also aims to estimate the average lifetime of the spots and to study whether the spot lifetime varies from star to star depending on its type.