Davenport, James R. A. and Becker, Andrew C. and Kowalski, Adam F. and Hawley, Suzanne L. and Schmidt, Sarah J. and Hilton, Eric J. and Sesar, Branimir and Cutri, Roc (2012) Multi-wavelength Characterization of Stellar Flares on Low-mass Stars Using SDSS and 2 MASS Time-domain Surveys. Astrophysical Journal, 748 (1). Art. No. 58. ISSN 0004-637X http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120418-072114069
- Published Version
See Usage Policy.
Use this Persistent URL to link to this item: http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20120418-072114069
We present the first rates of flares from M dwarf stars in both red optical and near-infrared (NIR) filters. We have studied ~50,000 M dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82 area and 1321 M dwarfs from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) Calibration Scan Point Source Working Database that overlap SDSS imaging fields. We assign photometric spectral types from M0 to M6 using (r – i) and (i – z) colors for every star in our sample. Stripe 82 stars each have 50-100 epochs of data, while 2MASS Calibration stars have ~1900 epochs. From these data we estimate the observed rates and theoretical detection thresholds for flares in eight photometric bands as a function of spectral type. Optical flare rates are found to be in agreement with previous studies, while the frequency per hour of NIR flare detections is found to be more than two orders of magnitude lower. An excess of small-amplitude flux increases in all bands exhibits a power-law distribution, which we interpret as the result of flares below our detection thresholds. In order to investigate the recovery efficiency for flares in each filter, we extend a two-component flare model into the NIR. Quiescent M0-M6 spectral templates were used with the model to predict the photometric response of flares from u to K_s. We determine that red optical filters are sensitive to flares with u-band amplitudes ≳2 mag, and NIR filters to flares with Δu ≳4.5 mag. Our model predicts that M0 stars have the best color contrast for J-band detections, but M4-M6 stars should yield the highest rate of NIR flares with amplitudes of ΔJ ≥ 0.01 mag. Characterizing flare rates and photometric variations at longer wavelengths is important for predicting the signatures of M dwarf variability in next-generation surveys, and we discuss their impact on surveys such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
|Additional Information:||© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 September 17; accepted 2012 January 10; published 2012 March 6. The authors thank C. MacLeod and J. Ruan for their insight in characterizing astrophysical variability, B. Tofflemire and J. Wisniewski for fruitful discussions regarding NIR flares, P. Kundurthy for his assistance in converting times to BJD, and the anonymous referee for helpful suggestions that greatly improved this manuscript. A.C.B. and J.R.A.D. acknowledge support from NASA ADP grant NNX09AC77G. E.J.H., S.L.H., and A.F.K. acknowledge support from NSF grant AST 08-07205. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web site is http://www.sdss.org/. The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck- Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.|
|Subject Keywords:||stars: flare; stars: low-mass|
|Official Citation:||Multi-wavelength Characterization of Stellar Flares on Low-mass Stars Using SDSS and 2MASS Time-domain Surveys James R. A. Davenport et al. 2012 ApJ 748 58|
|Usage Policy:||No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.|
|Deposited By:||Ruth Sustaita|
|Deposited On:||18 Apr 2012 14:47|
|Last Modified:||26 Dec 2012 15:04|
Repository Staff Only: item control page