Stellar activity analysis of Barnard’s Star: very slow rotation and evidence for long-term activity cycle

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Caballero, J. A.
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Oxford Univ Press
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The search for Earth-like planets around late-type stars using ultrastable spectrographs requires a very precise characterization of the stellar activity and the magnetic cycle of the star, since these phenomena induce radial velocity (RV) signals that can be misinterpreted as planetary signals. Among the nearby stars, we have selected Barnard’s Star (Gl 699) to carry out a characterization of these phenomena using a set of spectroscopic data that covers about 14.5 yr and comes from seven different spectrographs: HARPS, HARPS-N, CARMENES, HIRES, UVES, APF, and PFS; and a set of photometric data that covers about 15.1 yr and comes from four different photometric sources: ASAS, FCAPT–RCT, AAVSO, and SNO. We have measured different chromospheric activity indicators (H α, Ca II HK, and Na I D), as well as the full width at half-maximum (FWHM), of the cross-correlation function computed for a sub-set of the spectroscopic data. The analysis of generalized Lomb–Scargle periodograms of the time series of different activity indicators reveals that the rotation period of the star is 145 ± 15 d, consistent with the expected rotation period according to the low activity level of the star and previous claims. The upper limit of the predicted activity-induced RV signal corresponding to this rotation period is about 1 m s^(−1). We also find evidence of a long-term cycle of 10 ± 2 yr that is consistent with previous estimates of magnetic cycles from photometric time series in other M stars of similar activity levels. The available photometric data of the star also support the detection of both the long-term and the rotation signals.
© 2019 The Author(s). Artículo firmado por 61 autores. This work has been financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MICIU) through the grant AYA2017- 86389-P. BTP acknowledges Fundacion La Caixa for the financial support received in the form of a Ph.D. contract. JIGH acknowledges financial support from the Spanish MICIU under the 2013 Ramón y Cajal program MICIU RYC-2013-14875. ASM acknowledges financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The IAA-CSIC and UCM teams acknowledge support by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) through grants AYA2016-79425-C3- 1-P, AYA2016-79425-C3-2-P, AYA2016-79425-C3-3-P, ESP2014- 54362P, and ESP2017-87143R. IR, JCM, MP, and EH acknowledge support from the Spanish MINECO and the Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) through grant ESP2016-80435-C2- 1-R, as well as the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya/CERCA program. GAE research is funded via the STFC Consolidated Grants ST/P000592/1, and a Perren foundation grant. The results of this paper were based on observations made with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), operated on the island of La Palma by the INAF-Fundación Galileo Galilei at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC); observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla Observatory (Chile); observations made with the CARMENES instrument at the 3.5 m telescope of the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán de Calar Alto (CAHA, Almería, Spain), funded by the German Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the European Union, and the CARMENES Consortium members. This paper made use of the IAC Supercomputing facility HTCondor (, partly financed by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness with FEDER funds, code IACA13-3E-2493. We are grateful to all the observers of the projects whose data we are using for the following spectrographs: HARPS (072.C-0488, 183.C-0437, 191.C-0505, 099.C-0880), HARPSN (CAT14A 43, A27CAT 83, CAT13B 136, CAT16A 109, CAT17A 38, CAT17A 58), CARMENES (CARMENES GTO survey), HIRES (U11H, U11H, N12H, N10H, A264Hr, A288Hr, C168Hr, C199Hr, C205Hr, C202Hr, C232Hr, C240Hr, C275Hr, C332Hr, H174Hr, H218Hr, H238Hr, H224Hr, H244Hr, H257Hr, K01H, N007Hr, N014Hr, N024, N054Hr, N05H, N06H, N085Hr, N086Hr, N095Hr, N108Hr, N10H, N112Hr, N118Hr, N125Hr, N129HR, N12H, N12H, N131Hr, N131Hr, N136Hr, N141Hr, N145Hr, N148Hr, N14H, N157Hr, N15H, N168Hr, N19H, N20H, N22H, N28H, N32H, N50H, N59H, U014Hr, U01H, U023Hr, U027Hr, U027Hr, U030Hr, U052Hr, U058Hr, U05H, U064Hr, U077Hr, U078Hr, U07H, U082Hr, U084Hr, U08H, U10H, U115Hr, U11H, U12H, U131Hr, U142Hr, U66H, Y013Hr, Y065Hr, Y283Hr, Y292Hr), UVES (65.L-0428, 66.C-0446, 267.C-5700, 68.C0415, 69.C-0722, 70.C-0044, 71.C-0498, 072.C0495, 173.C-0606, 078.C-0829), APF (LCES/APF planet survey), and PFS (CarnegieCalifornia survey).
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