why map the secondary stars in CVs? back to top previous page

Typical CV secondary stars have radii of 400 000 km and distances of 200 parsecs. To detect a feature covering 20% of the star's surface requires a resolution of approximately 1 micro-arcsecond, 10 000 times greater than the diffraction-limited resolution of the world's largest telescopes.
Astro-tomography is hence a necessity when studying surface structure on the secondary stars in CVs, and allows one to study:

  • Magnetic activity

  • Irradiation

  • Stellar masses