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Stellar Flares in Eclipsing Binary Systems with TESS

Presentation #553.05 in the session “Hidden and Active Binaries”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Stellar Flares in Eclipsing Binary Systems with TESS

Since stellar flares are a magnetic phenomenon, we expect possible interactions between the magnetic fields of binary stars to have an effect on the flaring rate of one or both stars. In particular, we expect stronger interactions to occur in systems with closer orbits, leading to higher flaring rates. Prior studies on stellar flares have primarily been conducted on single star systems, but here we are interested in studying the correlation between the properties of Eclipsing Binaries (EB) - primarily their orbital period - and the frequency of stellar flares within these systems. We initially conducted an automated search for stellar flare events in two-minute cadence Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) data of EB targets. These targets were selected by crossmatching the list of available two-minute cadence targets with a catalog for EBs in TESS Full Frame Image Data detected using a Machine Learning Pipeline. We developed a new data reduction pipeline in order to search for flaring events in EB lightcurves, which are more complex than lightcurves of single stars. We ran the flare detection pipeline on a set of preprocessed lightcurves and validated the detected flares by comparing each detected flare against a stellar flare model. Using the detected flares and orbital periods, we searched for any correlation between the two quantities. Here we present an overview of our methodology for detecting flares in EB systems with TESS data and discuss the correlations between flare rate and orbital period we have uncovered.

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