The impact of unresolved magnetic spots on high precision radial velocity measurements

Maksym Lisogorskyi, Susdeshna Boro Saikia, Sandra V. Jeffers, Hugh R. A. Jones, Julien Morin, Matthew Mengel, Ansgar Reiners, Aline A. Vidotto, Pascal Petit

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The Doppler method of exoplanet detection has been extremely successful, but suffers from contaminating noise from stellar activity. In this work a model of a rotating star with a magnetic field based on the geometry of the K2 star Epsilon Eridani is presented and used to estimate its effect on simulated radial velocity measurements. A number of different distributions of unresolved magnetic spots were simulated on top of the observed large-scale magnetic maps obtained from eight years of spectropolarimetric observations. The radial velocity signals due to the magnetic spots have amplitudes of up to 10 m s$^{-1}$, high enough to prevent the detection of planets under 20 Earth masses in temperate zones of solar type stars. We show that the radial velocity depends heavily on spot distribution. Our results emphasize that understanding stellar magnetic activity and spot distribution is crucial for detection of Earth analogues.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberstaa2184
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Early online date23 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jul 2020


  • astro-ph.EP
  • astro-ph.SR


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