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The Effects of Starspots on Spectroscopic Mass Estimates of Low-mass Young Stars

Abstract : Magnetic fields and mass accretion processes create dark and bright spots on the surface of young stars. These spots manifest as surface thermal inhomogeneities, which alter the global temperature measured on the stars. To understand the effects and implications of these starspots, we conducted a large iSHELL high-resolution infrared spectroscopic survey of T Tauri stars in Taurus-Auriga and Ophiuchus star-forming regions. From the K-band spectra, we measured stellar temperatures and magnetic field strengths using a magnetic radiative transfer code. We compared our infrared-derived parameters against literature optical temperatures and found (a) a systematic temperature difference between optical and infrared observations, and (b) a positive correlation between the magnetic field strengths and the temperature differences. The discrepant temperature measurements imply significant differences in the inferred stellar masses from stellar evolutionary models. To discern which temperature better predicts the mass of the star, we compared our model-derived masses against dynamical masses measured from Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and the Plateau de Bure Interferometer for a subsample of our sources. From this comparison we conclude that, in the range of stellar masses from 0.3 to 1.3 M , neither infrared nor optical temperatures perfectly reproduce the stellar dynamical masses. But, on average, infrared temperatures produce more precise and accurate stellar masses than optical ones.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 27, 2022 - 10:03:25 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 3:09:34 AM

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C. Flores, M. S. Connelley, B. Reipurth, G. Duchêne. The Effects of Starspots on Spectroscopic Mass Estimates of Low-mass Young Stars. The Astrophysical Journal, 2022, 925, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ac37bd⟩. ⟨insu-03705393⟩

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