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Largest M Dwarf Flares from ASAS-SN

Schmidt, Sarah J. and Shappee, Benjamin J. and van Saders, Jennifer L. and Stanek, K. Z. and Brown, Jonathan S. and Kochanek, C. S. and Dong, Subo and Drout, Maria R. and Frank, Stephan and Holoien, T. W.-S. and Johnson, Sean and Madore, Barry F. and Prieto, J. L. and Seibert, Mark and Seidel, Marja K. and Simonian, Gregory V. A. (2019) Largest M Dwarf Flares from ASAS-SN. Astrophysical Journal, 876 (2). Art. No. 115. ISSN 1538-4357.

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The All-sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) is the only project in existence to scan the entire sky in optical light approximately every day, reaching a depth of g ~ 18 mag. Over the course of its first 4 yr of transient alerts (2013–2016), ASAS-SN observed 53 events classified as likely M dwarf flares. We present follow-up photometry and spectroscopy of all 53 candidates, confirming flare events on 47 M dwarfs, one K dwarf, and one L dwarf. The remaining four objects include a previously identified T Tauri star, a young star with outbursts, and two objects too faint to confirm. A detailed examination of the 49 flare star light curves revealed an additional six flares on five stars, resulting in a total of 55 flares on 49 objects ranging in V-band contrast from ΔV = −1 to −10.2 mag. Using an empirical flare model to estimate the unobserved portions of the flare light curve, we obtain lower limits on the V-band energy emitted during each flare, spanning log(E_V/erg) = 32–35, which are among the most energetic flares detected on M dwarfs. The ASAS-SN M dwarf flare stars show a higher fraction of Hα emission, as well as stronger Hα emission, compared to M dwarfs selected without reference to activity, consistent with belonging to a population of more magnetically active stars. We also examined the distribution of tangential velocities, finding that the ASAS-SN flaring M dwarfs are likely to be members of the thin disk and are neither particularly young nor old.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Schmidt, Sarah J.0000-0002-7224-7702
Shappee, Benjamin J.0000-0003-4631-1149
van Saders, Jennifer L.0000-0002-4284-8638
Brown, Jonathan S.0000-0002-1885-6419
Kochanek, C. S.0000-0001-6017-2961
Drout, Maria R.0000-0001-7081-0082
Holoien, T. W.-S.0000-0001-9206-3460
Johnson, Sean0000-0001-9487-8583
Madore, Barry F.0000-0002-1576-1676
Prieto, J. L.0000-0003-0943-0026
Seibert, Mark0000-0002-1143-5515
Simonian, Gregory V. A.0000-0002-4230-6732
Additional Information:© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 September 12; revised 2019 February 19; accepted 2019 February 19; published 2019 May 9. We thank Nidia Morrell for her contributions to ASAS-SN observing. We thank the Las Cumbres Observatory and its staff for its continuing support of the ASAS-SN project. ASAS-SN is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through grant GBMF5490 to the Ohio State University and NSF grant AST-1515927. Development of ASAS-SN has been supported by NSF grant AST-0908816, the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics at the Ohio State University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences South America Center for Astronomy (CASSACA), the Villum Foundation, and George Skestos. B.J.S., M.R.D., and S.D.J. were supported or partially supported by NASA through Hubble Fellowships grants HST-HF-51348.001, HST-HF2-51373.001, and HST-HF2-51375.001-A, respectively, awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555. K.Z.S. and C.S.K. are supported by NSF grants AST-1515927 and AST-1515876. Support for J.L.P. is in part provided by FONDECYT through the grant 1151445 and by the Ministry of Economy, Development, and Tourism's Millennium Science Initiative through grant IC120009, awarded to The Millennium Institute of Astrophysics. S.D. is supported by Project 11573003 supported by NSFC. This research was made possible through the use of the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey (APASS), funded by the Robert Martin Ayers Sciences Fund. This research has made use of data provided by (Lang et al. 2010). This research has also made use of NASA's Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services and the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. This work is based in part on observations obtained at the MDM Observatory, operated by Dartmouth College, Columbia University, Ohio State University, Ohio University, and the University of Michigan. This paper used data obtained with the MODS spectrographs built with funding from NSF grant AST-9987045 and the NSF Telescope System Instrumentation Program (TSIP), with additional funds from the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio State University Office of Research. This paper is based on data acquired using the LBT. The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. LBT Corporation partners are the University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona university system; Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max-Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; The Ohio State University; and The Research Corporation, on behalf of the University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota, and University of Virginia. 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 publication also makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This publication also makes use of data from SDSS-III. Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III website is SDSS-III is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS-III Collaboration, including the University of Arizona, the Brazilian Participation Group, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Florida, the French Participation Group, the German Participation Group, Harvard University, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Michigan State/Notre Dame/JINA Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, New Mexico State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the Spanish Participation Group, University of Tokyo, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Yale University. Software: Banyan Σ (Gagné et al. 2018), IRAF (Tody 1986, 1993), L.A.Cosmic (van Dokkum 2001), (, modsCCDRed (Version 2.0) (Pogge 2019), modsIDL (Croxall & Pogge 2019).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF5490
Mt. Cuba Astronomical FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Ohio State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Chinese Academy of Sciences South America Center for Astronomy (CASSACA)UNSPECIFIED
Villum FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF-51348.001
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51373.001
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51375.001-A
NASANAS 5-26555
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)1151445
Iniciativa Científica Milenio del Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y TurismoIC120009
National Natural Science Foundation of China11573003
Robert Martin Ayers Sciences FundUNSPECIFIED
Ohio Board of RegentsUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Participating InstitutionsUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stars: chromospheres – stars: late-type – stars: low-mass
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190509-095912196
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Sarah J. Schmidt et al 2019 ApJ 876 115
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:95369
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 May 2019 17:10
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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