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Identification of Stellar Flares Using Differential Evolution Template Optimization

Lawson, Kellen D. and Wisniewski, John P. and Bellm, Eric C. and Kowalski, Adam F. and Shupe, David L. (2019) Identification of Stellar Flares Using Differential Evolution Template Optimization. Astronomical Journal, 158 (3). Art. No. 119. ISSN 1538-3881. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ab3461.

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We explore methods for the identification of stellar flare events in irregularly sampled data of ground-based time domain surveys. In particular, we describe a new technique for identifying flaring stars, which we have implemented in a publicly available Python module called "PyVAN." The approach uses the Differential Evolution algorithm to optimize parameters of empirically derived light curve templates for different types of stars to fit a candidate light curve. The difference of the likelihoods that these best-fit templates produced the observed data is then used to delineate targets that are well-explained by a flare template but simultaneously poorly explained by templates of common contaminants. By testing on light curves of known identity and morphology, we show that our technique is capable of recovering flaring status in 69% of all light curves containing a flare event above thresholds drawn to include <1% of any contaminant population. By applying to Palomar Transient Factory data, we show consistency with prior samples of flaring stars, and identify a small selection of candidate flaring G-type stars for possible follow-up.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Lawson, Kellen D.0000-0002-6964-8732
Wisniewski, John P.0000-0001-9209-1808
Bellm, Eric C.0000-0001-8018-5348
Kowalski, Adam F.0000-0001-7458-1176
Shupe, David L.0000-0003-4401-0430
Additional Information:© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 March 11; revised 2019 June 21; accepted 2019 July 22; published 2019 August 21. We thank our referee for providing feedback that helped to improve the content and clarity of this manuscript. We also acknowledge support from a Research Corporation Scialog grant. This paper is based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope and the 60 inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Palomar Transient Factory project, a scientific collaboration between the California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Las Cumbres Observatory, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, the University of Oxford, and the Weizmann Institute of Science. The Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory project is a scientific collaboration among the California Institute of Technology, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, the Oskar Klein Center, the Weizmann Institute of Science, the TANGO Program of the University System of Taiwan, and the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe. The CSS survey is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant No. NNG05GF22G issued through the Science Mission Directorate Near-Earth Objects Observations Program. The CRTS survey is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grants AST-0909182 and AST-1313422.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Research CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Variable stars (1761); Eruptive variable stars (476); Astronomy software (1855); Flare stars (540)
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190821-143228300
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Kellen D. Lawson et al 2019 AJ 158 119
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98084
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Aug 2019 21:43
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:36

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