Testing the stability and reliability of starspot modelling

Zs Kovári, J. Bartus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


Since the mid 70's different starspot modelling techniques have been used to describe the observed spot variability on active stars. Spot positions and temperatures are calculated by application of surface integration techniques or solution of analytic equations on observed photometric data. Artificial spotted light curves were generated, by use of the analytic expressions of Budding (1977), to test how the different constraints like the intrinsic scatter of the observed data or the angle of inclination affects the spot solutions. Counteractions between the different parameters like inclination, latitude and spot size were also investigated. The results of re-modelling the generated data were scrutinized statistically. It was found, that (1) 0m002 - 0m.005 of photometric accuracy is required to recover geometrical spot parameters within an acceptable error box; (2) even a 0m.03 - 0m.05 error in unspotted brightness substantially affects the recovery of the original spot distribution; (3) especially at low inclination, under- or overestimation of inclination by 10° leads to an important systematic error in spot latitude and size; (4) when the angle of inclination i ≲ 20° photometric spot modelling is unable to provide satisfactory information on spot location and size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-808
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 20 1997



  • Methods: data analysis
  • Stars: activity; imaging; late-type; starspots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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