White-light flares on cool stars in the kepler quarter 1 data

Lucianne M. Walkowicz, Gibor Basri, Natalie Batalha, Ronald L. Gilliland, Jon Jenkins, William J. Borucki, David Koch, Doug Caldwell, Andrea K. Dupree, David W. Latham, Soeren Meibom, Steve Howell, Timothy M. Brown, Steve Bryson

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Abstract

We present the results of a search for white-light flares on ∼ 23,000 cool dwarfs in the Kepler Quarter 1 long cadence data. We have identified 373 flaring stars, some of which flare multiple times during the observation period. We calculate relative flare energies, flare rates, and durations and compare these with the quiescent photometric variability of our sample. We find that M dwarfs tend to flare more frequently but for shorter durations than K dwarfs and that they emit more energy relative to their quiescent luminosity in a given flare than K dwarfs. Stars that are more photometrically variable in quiescence tend to emit relatively more energy during flares, but variability is only weakly correlated with flare frequency. We estimate distances for our sample of flare stars and find that the flaring fraction agrees well with other observations of flare statistics for stars within 300 pc above the Galactic plane. These observations provide a more rounded view of stellar flares by sampling stars that have not been pre-selected by their activity, and are informative for understanding the influence of these flares on planetary habitability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume141
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Walkowicz, L. M., Basri, G., Batalha, N., Gilliland, R. L., Jenkins, J., Borucki, W. J., Koch, D., Caldwell, D., Dupree, A. K., Latham, D. W., Meibom, S., Howell, S., Brown, T. M., & Bryson, S. (2011). White-light flares on cool stars in the kepler quarter 1 data. Astronomical Journal, 141(2). https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-6256/141/2/50