A survey for variable young stars with small telescopes - III. Warm spots on the active star V1598 Cyg

Dirk Froebrich, Aleks Scholz, Jochen Eislöffel, Bringfried Stecklum

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Magnetic spots on low-mass stars can be traced and characterized using multiband photometric light curves. Here, we analyse an extensive dataset for one active star, V1598 Cyg, a known variable K dwarf which is either pre-main sequence and/or in a close binary system. Our light curve contains 2854 photometric data points, mostly in V, Rc,Ic, but also in U, B, and Hα, with a total baseline of about 4 yr, obtained with small telescopes as part of the HOYS project. We find that V1598 Cyg is a very fast rotator with a period of 0.8246 d and varying amplitudes in all filters, best explained as a signature of strong magnetic activity and spots. We fit the photometric amplitudes inV, Rc, Ic and use them to estimate spot properties, using a grid-based method that is also propagating uncertainties. We verify the method on a partial data set with high cadence and all five broad-band filters. The method yields spot temperatures and fractional spot coverage with typical uncertainties of100 K and 3-4 per cent, respectively. V1598 Cyg consistently exhibits spots that are a few hundred degrees warmer than the photosphere, most likely indicating that the light curve is dominated by chromospheric plage. The spot activity varies over our observing baseline, with a typical time-scale of 0.5-1 yr, which we interpret as the typical spot lifetime. Combining our light curve with archival data, we find a six year cycle in the average brightness, that is probably a sign of a magnetic activity cycle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4602-4613
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date5 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: individual: V 1598 Cyg
  • Stars: variables: T Tauri
  • Herbig Ae/Be
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence


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