In the past decade, indirect (Doppler) imaging techniques have opened up a whole new discipline in stellar astronomy, providing increasingly detailed photometric, magnetic, and chemical inhomogeneity images of stellar surfaces. Furthermore, new optical interferometers are already being used with sophisticated interferometer techniques to image stellar surface structures more directly, and in the future the ESO VLT Interferometer and other instruments will extend these capabilities enormously. These developments are highlighted in the first two sections of this book.
The large number of recent results, ground-based and space-based, and the lack of a generally accepted dynamo theory with predictive power for the stars and the Sun, result in an ever-growing complexity of interpretation of individual results. The IAU Symposium 176 on `Stellar Surface Structure' consequently focused on spatially resolved stellar observations throughout the H-R diagram, from O- and B-stars to late M-stars. Two further sections in this book summarize the current observational data on surface inhomogeneities in stellar photospheres, chromospheres, and coronae. Finally, a special section is devoted to next generation model atmospheres.
`This book provides a very detailed overview of the techniques and the main results of the study of surfaces of stars in different periods of evolution. For every library it is really necessary to have this book, that will be a reference for most scientists working in this field of astronomy/astrophysics.'
Reviews of Astronomical Tools, 4:2 (1996)
Introduction. Setting the Stage. Stellar Surface Mapping Techniques. Direct Mapping: The Last Frontier. Photospheric Phenomena. Outer Atmospheric Structure. Next Generation Model Atmospheres. Summary of IAU Symposium 176. List of Poster Papers. Author Index. Stellar Citation Index.