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Analysis of Young M Dwarf Flaring with the beta Pictoris Moving Group

Presentation #102.79 in the session Poster Session.

Published onJun 20, 2022
Analysis of Young M Dwarf Flaring with the beta Pictoris Moving Group

The relatively low temperatures (~2-4 kK), small radii, and sheer abundance make M dwarfs favorable candidates for planet detection and atmospheric characterization. Current models for the habitable zone are determined by the host star luminosity and rarely include contributions from flaring. Stellar flares, which occur when the coronal magnetic field reorganizes to a lower energy state, release panchromatic radiation which has a significantly higher brightness temperature (~9-20 kK) than the star. The excess ultraviolet contribution has strong implications for observable exoplanetary phenomena such as atmospheric loss and induced photochemistry. Increased magnetic activity on M dwarfs results in energy released during flaring events becoming a notable contributor to the radiation environment. Consequently characterizing the evolution of flare properties is crucial to understand the planetary context that is needed to interpret observations of exoplanet atmospheres. The beta Pictoris moving group (24 ± 3 Myr) provides an optimal starting point for the analysis of young low mass star flaring rates within the framework of larger flare studies in which effects due to metallicity and age become less pronounced. With >40 viable M dwarf members, including the multi-planet system host AU Mic, we use TESS observations to identify and characterize flare properties of these stars such as total energy and cumulative flare rate. We present an initial analysis of this population and their potential insight into the co-evolution of host stars and associated planets. Work to expand this analysis into other well-populated and observationally accessible moving groups and therefore different ages is ongoing. Results from this study will assist in determining how changes in flare properties over time impact the atmospheric evolution of exoplanets.

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