Aims: We undertook an H band interferometric examination of Arcturus, a star frequently used as a spatial and spectral calibrator. Methods: Using the IOTA 3 telescope interferometer, we performed spectro-interferometric observations (R¿35) of Arcturus. Atmospheric models and prescriptions were fitted to the data to derive the brightness distribution of the photosphere. Image reconstruction was performed using two software algorithms: Wisard and Mira. Results: An achromatic power law proved to be a good model of the brightness distribution, with a limb darkening compatible with the one derived from atmospheric model simulations using our marcs model. A Rosseland diameter of 21.05±0.21 was derived, corresponding to an effective temperature of Teff = 4295±26 K. No companion was detected from the closure phases, with an upper limit on the brightness ratio of 8×10-4 at 1 AU. The dynamic range at such distance from the photosphere was established as1.5×10-4 (1¿ rms). An upper limit of1.7×10-3 was also derived for the level of brightness asymmetries present in the photosphere.
|Journal||Astronomy & Astrophysics|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2008|