Sectoral r modes and periodic radial velocity variations of Sun-like stars

A. F. Lanza, Laurent Gizon, T. V. Zaqarashvili, Z. C. Liang, K. Rodenbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context. Radial velocity (RV) measurements are used to search for planets orbiting late-type main-sequence stars and to confirm the transiting planets. Aims. The most advanced spectrometers are now approaching a precision of ~10 cms -1 , which implies the need to identify and correct for all possible sources of RV oscillations intrinsic to the star down to this level and possibly beyond. The recent discovery of global-scale equatorial Rossby waves in the Sun, also called r modes, prompted us to investigate their possible signature in stellar RV measurements. These r modes are toroidal modes of oscillation whose restoring force is the Coriolis force; they propagate in the retrograde direction in a frame that co-rotates with the star. The solar r modes with azimuthal orders 3 ≤ m ≤ 15 were identified unambiguously because of their dispersion relation and their long e-folding lifetimes of hundreds of days. Methods. In this paper, we simulate the RV oscillations produced by sectoral r modes with 2 ≤ m ≤ 5 by assuming a stellar rotation period of 25:54 days and a maximum amplitude of the surface velocity of each mode of 2 ms -1 . This amplitude is representative of the solar measurements except for the m = 2 mode, which has not yet been observed on the Sun. Results. Sectoral r modes with azimuthal orders m = 2 and 3 would produce RV oscillations with amplitudes of 76:4 and 19:6 cms -1 and periods of 19:16 and 10:22 days, respectively, for a star with an inclination of the rotation axis to the line of sight i = 60°. Therefore, they may produce rather sharp peaks in the Fourier spectrum of the radial velocity time series that could lead to spurious planetary detections. Conclusions. Sectoral r modes may represent a source of confusion in the case of slowly rotating inactive stars that are preferential targets for RV planet search. The main limitation of the present investigation is the lack of observational constraints on the amplitude of the m = 2 mode on the Sun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA50
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume623
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Fingerprint

radial velocity
sun
stars
oscillation
planet
planets
oscillations
velocity measurement
equatorial wave
Coriolis force
Rossby wave
stellar rotation
main sequence stars
confusion
folding
spectrometer
planetary waves
line of sight
inclination
time series

Keywords

  • Planets and satellites: detection
  • Planets and satellites: terrestrial planets
  • Stars: late-type
  • Stars: oscillations
  • Sun: oscillations
  • Techniques: radial velocities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Sectoral r modes and periodic radial velocity variations of Sun-like stars. / Lanza, A. F.; Gizon, Laurent; Zaqarashvili, T. V.; Liang, Z. C.; Rodenbeck, K.

In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 623, A50, 01.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lanza, A. F. ; Gizon, Laurent ; Zaqarashvili, T. V. ; Liang, Z. C. ; Rodenbeck, K. / Sectoral r modes and periodic radial velocity variations of Sun-like stars. In: Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2019 ; Vol. 623.
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abstract = "Context. Radial velocity (RV) measurements are used to search for planets orbiting late-type main-sequence stars and to confirm the transiting planets. Aims. The most advanced spectrometers are now approaching a precision of ~10 cms -1 , which implies the need to identify and correct for all possible sources of RV oscillations intrinsic to the star down to this level and possibly beyond. The recent discovery of global-scale equatorial Rossby waves in the Sun, also called r modes, prompted us to investigate their possible signature in stellar RV measurements. These r modes are toroidal modes of oscillation whose restoring force is the Coriolis force; they propagate in the retrograde direction in a frame that co-rotates with the star. The solar r modes with azimuthal orders 3 ≤ m ≤ 15 were identified unambiguously because of their dispersion relation and their long e-folding lifetimes of hundreds of days. Methods. In this paper, we simulate the RV oscillations produced by sectoral r modes with 2 ≤ m ≤ 5 by assuming a stellar rotation period of 25:54 days and a maximum amplitude of the surface velocity of each mode of 2 ms -1 . This amplitude is representative of the solar measurements except for the m = 2 mode, which has not yet been observed on the Sun. Results. Sectoral r modes with azimuthal orders m = 2 and 3 would produce RV oscillations with amplitudes of 76:4 and 19:6 cms -1 and periods of 19:16 and 10:22 days, respectively, for a star with an inclination of the rotation axis to the line of sight i = 60°. Therefore, they may produce rather sharp peaks in the Fourier spectrum of the radial velocity time series that could lead to spurious planetary detections. Conclusions. Sectoral r modes may represent a source of confusion in the case of slowly rotating inactive stars that are preferential targets for RV planet search. The main limitation of the present investigation is the lack of observational constraints on the amplitude of the m = 2 mode on the Sun.",
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T1 - Sectoral r modes and periodic radial velocity variations of Sun-like stars

AU - Lanza, A. F.

AU - Gizon, Laurent

AU - Zaqarashvili, T. V.

AU - Liang, Z. C.

AU - Rodenbeck, K.

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - Context. Radial velocity (RV) measurements are used to search for planets orbiting late-type main-sequence stars and to confirm the transiting planets. Aims. The most advanced spectrometers are now approaching a precision of ~10 cms -1 , which implies the need to identify and correct for all possible sources of RV oscillations intrinsic to the star down to this level and possibly beyond. The recent discovery of global-scale equatorial Rossby waves in the Sun, also called r modes, prompted us to investigate their possible signature in stellar RV measurements. These r modes are toroidal modes of oscillation whose restoring force is the Coriolis force; they propagate in the retrograde direction in a frame that co-rotates with the star. The solar r modes with azimuthal orders 3 ≤ m ≤ 15 were identified unambiguously because of their dispersion relation and their long e-folding lifetimes of hundreds of days. Methods. In this paper, we simulate the RV oscillations produced by sectoral r modes with 2 ≤ m ≤ 5 by assuming a stellar rotation period of 25:54 days and a maximum amplitude of the surface velocity of each mode of 2 ms -1 . This amplitude is representative of the solar measurements except for the m = 2 mode, which has not yet been observed on the Sun. Results. Sectoral r modes with azimuthal orders m = 2 and 3 would produce RV oscillations with amplitudes of 76:4 and 19:6 cms -1 and periods of 19:16 and 10:22 days, respectively, for a star with an inclination of the rotation axis to the line of sight i = 60°. Therefore, they may produce rather sharp peaks in the Fourier spectrum of the radial velocity time series that could lead to spurious planetary detections. Conclusions. Sectoral r modes may represent a source of confusion in the case of slowly rotating inactive stars that are preferential targets for RV planet search. The main limitation of the present investigation is the lack of observational constraints on the amplitude of the m = 2 mode on the Sun.

AB - Context. Radial velocity (RV) measurements are used to search for planets orbiting late-type main-sequence stars and to confirm the transiting planets. Aims. The most advanced spectrometers are now approaching a precision of ~10 cms -1 , which implies the need to identify and correct for all possible sources of RV oscillations intrinsic to the star down to this level and possibly beyond. The recent discovery of global-scale equatorial Rossby waves in the Sun, also called r modes, prompted us to investigate their possible signature in stellar RV measurements. These r modes are toroidal modes of oscillation whose restoring force is the Coriolis force; they propagate in the retrograde direction in a frame that co-rotates with the star. The solar r modes with azimuthal orders 3 ≤ m ≤ 15 were identified unambiguously because of their dispersion relation and their long e-folding lifetimes of hundreds of days. Methods. In this paper, we simulate the RV oscillations produced by sectoral r modes with 2 ≤ m ≤ 5 by assuming a stellar rotation period of 25:54 days and a maximum amplitude of the surface velocity of each mode of 2 ms -1 . This amplitude is representative of the solar measurements except for the m = 2 mode, which has not yet been observed on the Sun. Results. Sectoral r modes with azimuthal orders m = 2 and 3 would produce RV oscillations with amplitudes of 76:4 and 19:6 cms -1 and periods of 19:16 and 10:22 days, respectively, for a star with an inclination of the rotation axis to the line of sight i = 60°. Therefore, they may produce rather sharp peaks in the Fourier spectrum of the radial velocity time series that could lead to spurious planetary detections. Conclusions. Sectoral r modes may represent a source of confusion in the case of slowly rotating inactive stars that are preferential targets for RV planet search. The main limitation of the present investigation is the lack of observational constraints on the amplitude of the m = 2 mode on the Sun.

KW - Planets and satellites: detection

KW - Planets and satellites: terrestrial planets

KW - Stars: late-type

KW - Stars: oscillations

KW - Sun: oscillations

KW - Techniques: radial velocities

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