Amy McQuillan

Amy McQuillan
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Amy McQuillan

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (9)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (4)

Publications Authored By Amy McQuillan

Mazeh, Holczer, and Shporer (2015) have presented an approach that can, in principle, use the derived transit timing variation (TTV) of some transiting planets observed by the $Kepler$ mission to distinguish between prograde and retrograde motion of their orbits with respect to their parent stars' rotation. The approach utilizes TTVs induced by spot-crossing events that occur when the planet moves across a spot on the stellar surface, looking for a correlation between the derived TTVs and the stellar brightness derivatives at the corresponding transits. This can work even in data that cannot temporally resolve the spot-crossing events themselves. Read More

Among the available methods for dating stars, gyrochronology is a powerful one because it requires knowledge of only the star's mass and rotation period. Gyrochronology relations have previously been calibrated using young clusters, with the Sun providing the only age dependence, and are therefore poorly calibrated at late ages. We used rotation period measurements of 310 Kepler stars with asteroseismic ages, 50 stars from the Hyades and Coma Berenices clusters and 6 field stars (including the Sun) with precise age measurements to calibrate the gyrochronology relation, whilst fully accounting for measurement uncertainties in all observable quantities. Read More

The observed amplitude of the rotational photometric modulation of a star with spots should depend on the inclination of its rotational axis relative to our line of sight. Therefore, the distribution of observed rotational amplitudes of a large sample of stars depends on the distribution of their projected axes of rotation. Thus, comparison of the stellar rotational amplitudes of the Kepler KOIs with those of Kepler single stars can provide a measure to indirectly infer the properties of the spin-orbit obliquity of Kepler planets. Read More

We make use of the high photometric precision of Kepler to search for periodic modulations among 14 normal (DA- and DB-type, likely non-magnetic) hot white dwarfs (WDs). In five, and possibly up to seven of the WDs, we detect periodic, ~2 hr to 10 d, variations, with semi-amplitudes of 60 - 2000 ppm, lower than ever seen in WDs. We consider various explanations: WD rotation combined with magnetic cool spots; rotation combined with magnetic dichroism; rotation combined with hot spots from an interstellar-medium accretion flow; transits by size ~50 - 200 km objects; relativistic beaming due to reflex motion caused by a cool companion WD; or reflection/re-radiation of the primary WD light by a brown-dwarf or giant-planet companion, undergoing illumination phases as it orbits the WD. Read More

We analyzed 3 years of data from the Kepler space mission to derive rotation periods of main-sequence stars below 6500 K. Our automated autocorrelation-based method detected rotation periods between 0.2 and 70 days for 34,030 (25. Read More

We present the discovery of CoRoT 223992193, a double-lined, detached eclipsing binary, comprising two pre-main sequence M dwarfs, discovered by the CoRoT space mission during a 23-day observation of the 3 Myr old NGC 2264 star-forming region. Using multi-epoch optical and near-IR follow-up spectroscopy with FLAMES on the Very Large Telescope and ISIS on the William Herschel Telescope we obtain a full orbital solution and derive the fundamental parameters of both stars by modelling the light curve and radial velocity data. The orbit is circular and has a period of $3. Read More

We present a large sample of stellar rotation periods for Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), based on three years of public Kepler data. These were measured by detecting periodic photometric modulation caused by star spots, using an algorithm based on the autocorrelation function (ACF) of the light curve, developed recently by McQuillan, Aigrain & Mazeh (2013). Of the 1919 main-sequence exoplanet hosts analyzed, robust rotation periods were detected for 737. Read More

We have analysed 10 months of public data from the Kepler space mission to measure rotation periods of main-sequence stars with masses between 0.3 and 0.55 M_sun. Read More

We investigate the variability properties of main sequence stars in the first month of Kepler data, using a new astrophysically robust systematics correction, and find that 60% of stars are more variable then the active Sun. We define low and high variability samples, with a cut corresponding to twice the variability level of the active Sun, and compare the properties of the stars belonging to each sample. We show tentative evidence that the more active stars have lower proper motions and may be located closer to the galactic plane. Read More