We present a multi-epoch spectroscopic study of LkCa 4, a heavily spotted non-accreting T Tauri star. Using SpeX at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), 12 spectra were collected over five consecutive nights, spanning ≈1.5 stellar rotations. Using the IRTF SpeX Spectral Library, we constructed empirical composite models of spotted stars by combining a warmer (photosphere) standard star spectrum with a cooler (spot) standard weighted by the spot filling factor, f spot. The best-fit models spanned two photospheric component temperatures, T phot = 4100 K (K7V) and 4400 K (K5V), and one spot component temperature, T spot = 3060 K (M5V) with an A V of 0.3. We find values of f spot to vary between 0.77 and 0.94 with an average uncertainty of ∼0.04. The variability of f spot is periodic and correlates with its 3.374 day rotational period. Using a mean value for f meanspot to represent the total spot coverage, we calculated spot corrected values for T eff and L ⋆. Placing these values alongside evolutionary models developed for heavily spotted young stars, we infer mass and age ranges of 0.45-0.6 M ⊙ and 0.50-1.25 Myr, respectively. These inferred values represent a twofold increase in the mass and a twofold decrease in the age as compared to standard evolutionary models. Such a result highlights the need for constraining the contributions of cool and warm regions of young stellar atmospheres when estimating T eff and L ⋆ to infer masses and ages as well as the necessity for models to account for the effects of these regions on the early evolution of low-mass stars.
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© 2023. The Author(s)
Pérez Paolino, Facundo; Bary, Jeffrey S.; Petersen, Michael S.; Ward-Duong, Kimberly; Tofflemire, Benjamin M.; Follette, Katherine B.; and Mach, Heidi, "Correlating Changes in Spot Filling Factors With Stellar Rotation: The Case of Lkca 4" (2023). Astronomy: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.