The magnetic properties of the star Kepler-78

C. Moutou, J. F. Donati, D. Lin, R. O. Laine, A. Hatzes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Kepler-78 is host to a transiting 8.5-h orbit super-Earth. In this paper, the rotation and magnetic properties of the planet host star are studied. We first revisit the Kepler photometric data for a detailed description of the rotation properties of Kepler-78, showing that the star seems to undergo a cycle in the spot pattern of ~1300 d duration. We then use spectropolarimetric observations with Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)/ESPaDOnS to measure the circular polarization in the line profile of the star during its rotation cycle, as well as spectroscopic proxies of the chromospheric activity. The average field has a strength of 16 G. The magnetic topology is characterized by a poloidal and a toroidal component, encompassing 60 per cent and 40 per cent of the magnetic energy, respectively. Differential rotation is detected with an estimated rate of 0.105±0.039 rad d-1. Activity tracers vary with the rotation cycle of the star; there is no hint that a residual activity level is related to the planetary orbit at the precision of our data. The description of the star magnetic field's characteristics then may serve as input for models of interactions between the star and its close-by planet, e.g. Ohmic dissipation and unipolar induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1993-2007
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 21 2016


  • Planet-Star interactions
  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: magnetic field
  • Starspots
  • Techniques: radial velocities
  • Techniques: spectroscopic


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