Summary: ON THE BELIEVABILITY OF POLAR SPOTS
P. BRENDAN BYRNE
College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, N. Ireland
Abstract. Polar spots in Doppler Imaging maps of rapidly rotating late
type stars, especially the active components of RSCVn binaries, represent
a major break with the solar paradigm, within which spots are only found
at low latitudes. I examine critically the evidence for polar spots and point
out that they are particularly sensitive to a number of systematic effects
relating to determining reference ``zeropoints''.
The technique of Doppler Imaging offers the potential to resolve in some
detail spot distributions on active latetype stars. Since the seminal paper
by Vogt and Penrod (1983) which imaged the spot distribution on the
RSCVn star, V411Tau (=HR1099), almost all such images have shown a
dark polar cap. These have been attributed to largescale spots including
a symmetric distribution at the stellar pole.
Such spot distributions represent a fundamental break with the solar
paradigm, in which spots are always found at latitudes between ¸10 ffi --40 ffi .
Of course, in view of the very great difference in magnetic activity between