Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 431, 2240-2252 (2013/May-3)
Activity in A-type stars.
Abstract (from CDS):
Two years of Kepler data are used to investigate low-frequency variations in A-type stars. In about 875 (40percent) A-type stars, the periodogram shows a simple peak and its harmonic. If we assume that the photometric period is the period of rotation, we can derive the equatorial rotational velocity from a suitable radius estimate. It turns out that the distribution of equatorial velocities derived in this way is similar to the distribution of equatorial velocities of A-type main-sequence stars in the general field derived from spectroscopic line broadening, verifying our initial assumption. We suggest that the light variation is due to rotational modulation caused by starspots or some other corotating structure. In many stars the rotation peak in the periodogram has a characteristic shape which is not understood. The light amplitudes are highly variable. We deduce from the amplitude distribution that the sizes of starspots in A-type stars are similar to the largest sunspots. From the widths of the peaks in the periodogram we deduce that differential rotation in these stars is similar to that in the Sun. We find that the period-colour relationship used for gyrochronology in late-type stars extends to early F-type and probably late A-type stars as well. Flares in A-type stars have been recently detected. We add 13 additional A-type flare stars to this sample, which means that about 1.5 per cent of A-type stars in the Kepler field show flares. We conclude that A-type stars are active and, like cooler stars, have starspots and flares.