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ArgusSpec: An Autonomous, Fast-Slew Spectrograph Designed for Rapid Flare Followup

Presentation #244.01 in the session New Approaches — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
ArgusSpec: An Autonomous, Fast-Slew Spectrograph Designed for Rapid Flare Followup

Large flares from active stars have dramatic impacts on orbiting exoplanets. Planets in the active stars’ habitable zones will be impacted by flares and superflares (energies ≥1033 erg), and associated high-energy particle emissions, which could strip the planet of its atmosphere and impart massive amounts of ultraviolet (UV) flux. This could be devastating to any life on the planet’s surface. Until now, there has not been a systematic spectroscopic survey of energetic flaring events across a wide range of stellar masses; almost all large flares observed spectroscopically have been from a small sample of active mid-M stars through staring campaigns. This strategy does not provide statistical constraints on flare morphology for the full range of M stars, which span a factor of seven in mass. An automated, unbiased survey is necessary to develop a statistical understanding of flare blackbody emission and evolution, emission line amplitudes and their evolutions, associated energetic particle emissions, and common multiple-impulse events. Here we present the design and initial results from an autonomous rapid flare followup system, ArgusSpec, which will be used to build a library of superflare spectra. We use the all-sky Evryscope for flare detections and a fast-slew mount with a grism spectrograph for rapid spectroscopic followup. In the future, ArgusSpec will be deployed alongside the Argus Array and the Argus Pathfinder, allowing for the first comprehensive flare survey of the entire mass range of M-dwarfs across the sky.

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