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Starspot mapping with adaptive parallel tempering I: Implementation of computational code  

Kai Ikuta   Submitted: 2020-08-13 18:44

Starspots are thought to be regions of locally strong magnetic fields, similar to sunspots, and they can generate photometric brightness modulations. To deduce stellar and spot properties, such as spot emergence and decay rates, we implement computational code for starspot modeling. It is implemented with an adaptive parallel tempering algorithm and an importance sampling algorithm for parameter estimation and model selection in the Bayesian framework. For evaluating the performance of the code, we apply it to synthetic light curves produced with 3 spots. The light curves are specified in the spot parameters, such as the radii, intensities, latitudes, longitudes, and emergence/decay durations. The spots are circular with specified radii and intensities relative to the photosphere, and the stellar differential rotation coefficient is also included in the light curves. As a result, stellar and spot parameters are uniquely deduced. The number of spots is correctly determined: the 3-spot model is preferable because the model evidence is much greater than that of 2-spot models by orders of magnitude and more than that of 4-spot model by a more modest factor, whereas the light curves are produced to have 2 or 1 local minimum during one equatorial rotation period by adjusting the values of longitude. The spot emergence and decay rates can be estimated with error less than an order of magnitude, considering the difference of the number of spots.

Authors: Kai Ikuta, Hiroyuki Maehara, Yuta Notsu, Kosuke Namekata, Taichi Kato, Shota Notsu, Soshi Okamoto, Satoshi Honda, Daisaku Nogami, Kazunari Shibata
Projects: None

Publication Status: Accepted for publication in ApJ
Last Modified: 2020-08-14 12:45
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Starspot mapping with adaptive parallel tempering I: Implementation of computational code

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