Short-term evolution and coexistence of spots, plages and flare activity on LQ Hydrae⋆
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
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Received: 18 July 2016
Accepted: 13 September 2016
Aims. We aim to study the short-term evolution of the chromospheric and photospheric activity of the young, single K2 dwarf LQ Hya.
Methods. Four months of quasi-simultaneous spectroscopic and photometric observations were used to study the variations of the photometric light curve, the evolution of the chromospheric activity from the Hα and Hβ lines, and the distribution of cool spots from Doppler maps.
Results. During our observations one side of the star was more active than the other. The equivalent width of the Hα line from the least active hemisphere increased from ≈0.7 Å at the beginning of the observation to 1.0 Å at the end. The basal emission of the most active hemisphere remained roughly constant at EWHαt1.0 Å. Intense flare activity was observed during the first twenty days, where at least four different events were detected. The line asymmetries of the Hα line suggest that one of the flares could have produced a mass ejection with a maximum projected speed of 70kms-1. The rotational modulation of the V-band photometry showed clear anti-correlation with the chromospheric activity. The difference in brightness between the opposite hemispheres decreased from 0.m16 to 0.m09 in two months. Three spots gradually moving apart from each other are dominating the photospheric Doppler maps. The comparison between the maps and the Hα line as the star rotates reveals the spatial coexistence of chromospheric Hα emission and photospheric spots.
Conclusions. Our results indicate that the active regions of LQ Hya can live for at least four months. The detected changes in the photometric light curve and the spectroscopic Doppler images seem to be more a consequence of the spatial redistribution of the active regions rather than due to changes in their strength. Only one of the active regions shows significant changes in its chromospheric emission.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: chromospheres / stars: evolution / stars: flare / stars: imaging / stars: individual: LQ Hydrae
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