Thursday, December 29, 2016

Recurring sets of recurring starspots on exoplanet-host Qatar-2


Močnik et al


We announce the detection of recurring sets of recurring starspot occultation events in the short-cadence K2 lightcurve of Qatar-2, a K dwarf star transited every 1.34 d by a hot Jupiter. In total we detect 30 individual starspot occultation events, 28 of which form nine sets of recurring events with the longest set consisting of five occultation events in consecutive transits. Moreover, three sets of spot occultations were found to be from the same starspot over two full stellar rotations, setting a minimum starspot lifetime to 40 d. Another starspot reappeared after one stellar rotation. Starspot analysis provided a robust stellar rotational period measurement of 18.0±0.1 d and indicates that the system is aligned, having an obliquity of 0±8∘. A pronounced rotational modulation in the lightcurve has a period of 18.2±1.6 d, in agreement with the rotational period derived from the starspot occultations. We tentatively detect an ellipsoidal modulation in the phase-curve, with a semi-amplitude of 18 ppm, but cannot exclude the possibility that this is the result of red noise or imperfect removal of the rotational modulation. We detect no transit-timing and transit-duration variations with upper limits of 15 s and 1 min, respectively. We also reject any additional transiting planets with transit depths above 330 ppm in the orbital period region 0.5-30 d.

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