Stellar Surface Magneto-Convection as a Source of Astrophysical Noise: II. Center-to-Limb Parameterisation of Absorption Line Profiles and Comparison to Observations

Heather M. Cegla, Christopher Watson, Sergiy Shelyag, W.J. Chaplin, G.R. Davies, Mihalis Mathioudakis, M. Palumbo, Steven Saar, R. Haywood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Manifestations of stellar activity (such as star-spots, plage/faculae, and convective flows) are well known to induce spectroscopic signals often referred to as astrophysical noise by exoplanet hunters. For example, setting an ultimate goal of detecting true Earth-analogs demands reaching radial velocity (RV) precisions of ~9 cm s⁻¹. While this is becoming technically feasible with the latest generation of highly stabilised spectrographs, it is astrophysical noise that sets the true fundamental barrier on attainable RV precisions. In this paper we parameterise the impact of solar surface magneto-convection on absorption line profiles, and extend the analysis from the solar disc centre (Paper I) to the solar limb. Off disc-centre, the plasma flows orthogonal to the granule tops begin to lie along the line-of-sight and those parallel to the granule tops are no longer completely aligned with the observer. Moreover, the granulation is corrugated and the granules can block other granules, as well as the intergranular lane components. Overall, the visible plasma flows and geometry of the corrugated surface significantly impact the resultant line profiles and induce centre-to-limb variations in shape and net position. We detail these herein, and compare to various solar observations. We find our granulation parameterisation can recreate realistic line profiles and induced radial velocity shifts, across the stellar disc, indicative of both those found in computationally heavy radiative 3D magnetohydrodynamical simulations and empirical solar observations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number55
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume866
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2018

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