Contemporaneous Observations of Hα Luminosities and Photometric Amplitudes for M Dwarfs

May 2023 • 2023AJ....165..192G

Authors • García Soto, Aylin • Newton, Elisabeth R. • Douglas, Stephanie T. • Burrows, Abigail • Kesseli, Aurora Y.

Abstract • While many M dwarfs are known to have strong magnetic fields and high levels of magnetic activity, we are still unsure about the properties of their starspots and the origin of their magnetic dynamos. Both starspots and chromospheric heating are generated by the surface magnetic field; they produce photometric variability and Hα emission, respectively. Connecting brightness variations to magnetic activity therefore provides a means to examine M-dwarf magnetism. We survey 30 M dwarfs previously identified as fast rotating stars (P rot < 10 days). We present time-series optical photometry from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and contemporaneous optical spectra obtained using the Ohio State Multi-Object Spectrograph (OSMOS) on the 2.4 m Hiltner telescope at MDM Observatory in Arizona. We measure rotation periods and photometric amplitudes from TESS light curves using Gaussian Processes. From the OSMOS spectra, we calculate the equivalent width of Hα, and L /L bol. We find a weak positive correlation between Hα luminosity and the semiamplitude, R var ( $p={0.005}_{-0.005}^{+0.075}$ ). We also observe short-term variability (between 20 and 45 minutes) in Hα equivalent widths and possible enhancement from flares consistent to recent literature.


IPAC Authors


Aurora Kesseli

Assistant Scientist