This award will support an observational project that combines infrared interferometric imaging with spectroscopic techniques to probe the latitude dependence and size distribution of spot/spot groups on active stars. Observations will be performed using the Georgia State University (GSU) Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) interferometer, an NSF-supported six-telescope optical array on Mt. Wilson, California. This group will make use of the Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC), a facility instrument built by this group that will be upgraded from 4-beam to 6-beam operation in time for this project.
The work is expected to shed light on the relationship between rotation, magnetic fields, and stellar activity in cool stars. Such phenomena are well-studied on the Sun, but have not been investigated in great detail in other stars.