Surface images of the short period contact binary AE Phe
Barnes, J R
Lister, T A
Hilditch, R W
Cameron, A C
We present high resolution Doppler images of the short period (P = 0.362 d) contact binary AE Phe. Using least squares deconvolution, we make use of the information content of the several thousand lines in each echelle spectrum to obtain the necessary S/N and time resolution required to resolve individual starspot features. A single pair of rotationally broadened profiles (free of sidelobes due to blending) with a typical S/N of 3000 - 4000 per spectrum is thus obtained. With 300 sec exposures we achieve a cadence of 350 sec which is equivalent to sampling the rotation phase every 4degrees. We derive images for four nights of data which reveal starspots at most latitudes on both components of the common envelope system. Individual starspots evolve significantly on very short timescales, of order one day; significantly faster than the week timescales found on active single stars and the Sun.