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A tool for the fast computation of photometry and radial velocity induced by stellar spots

I. Boisse, X. Bonfils, N. C. Santos

We define and put at the disposal of the community SOAP, Spot Oscillation And Planet, a software tool that simulates the effect of stellar spots and plages on radial velocimetry and photometry. This paper describes the tool release and provides instructions for its use.We present detailed tests with previous computations and real data to assess the code’s performance and to validate its suitability. We characterize the variations of the radial velocity, line bisector, and photometric amplitude as a function of the main variables: projected stellar rotational velocity, filling factor of the spot, resolution of the spectrograph, linear limb-darkening coefficient, latitude of the spot, and inclination of the star. Finally, we model the spot distributions on the active stars HD166435, TWHya and HD189733, which reproduce the observations. We show that the software is remarkably fast, allowing several evolutions in its capabilities that could be performed to study the next challenges in the exoplanetary field connected with the stellar variability.

methods: numerical – planetary systems – techniques: radial velocities – techniques: photometric – stars: activity – starspots

The tool is available at
Consult the up-to-date catalogue of the website

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 545, Number of pages A109_1
2012 September

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia