Zeeman-Doppler Imaging of active late-type stars
Stellar magnetic fields, as a crucial component of star formation and evolution, evade direct observation at least with current and near future instruments. However investigating whether magnetic fields are generated by a dynamo process or represent relics from the formation process, or whether they show a behavior similar to the sun or something very different, it is essential to investigate their structure and temporal evolution. Fortunately nature provides us with the possibility to indirectly observe surface topologies on distant stars by means of Doppler shift and polarization of light, though not without its challenges. Based on the mentioned effects, the so called Zeeman-Doppler Imaging technique is a powerful method to retrieve magnetic fields from rapid rotating stars based on measurements of spectropolarimetric observations in terms of Stokes profiles. In recent years, a large number of stellar magnetic field distributions could be reconstructed by Zeeman-Doppler Imaging (ZDI). However, the implementation of this method often relies on many approximations because, as an inversion method, it entails enormous computational requirements.