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  1. Abstract Our understanding of the properties and demographics of exoplanets critically relies on our ability to determine the fundamental properties of their host stars. The advent of Gaia and large spectroscopic surveys has now made it possible, in principle, to infer the properties of individual stars, including most exoplanet hosts, to very high precision. However, we show that, in practice, such analyses are limited by uncertainties in both the fundamental scale and our models of stellar evolution, even for stars similar to the Sun. For example, we show that current uncertainties on measured interferometric angular diameters and bolometric fluxes set a systematic uncertainty floor of ≈2.4% in temperature, ≈2.0% in luminosity, and ≈4.2% in radius. Comparisons between widely available model grids suggest uncertainties of order ≈5% in mass and ≈20% in age for main-sequence and subgiant stars. While the radius uncertainties are roughly constant over this range of stars, the model-dependent uncertainties are a complex function of luminosity, temperature, and metallicity. We provide open-source software for approximating these uncertainties for individual targets and discuss strategies for reducing these uncertainties in the future. 
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  2. Abstract

    Current spectroscopic surveys are producing large catalogs of chemical abundances for stars of all types. The yttrium-to-magnesium ratio, [Y/Mg], has emerged as a candidate age indicator for solar twins in the local stellar neighborhood. However, it is unclear whether it is a viable age diagnostic for more diverse stellar types, so we investigate [Y/Mg] as an age indicator for the FGK-type planet host stars observed by Kepler. We find that the [Y/Mg] “Clock” is most precise for solar twins, with a [Y/Mg]/age slope ofm= −0.0370 ±0.0071 dex Gyr−1andσAge= 2.6 Gyr. We attribute the lower precision compared to literature results to nonsolar twins contaminating our solar twin sample and recommend a 1.5 Gyr systematic uncertainty for stellar ages derived with any [Y/Mg]–Age relation. We also analyzed the [Y/Mg] Clock as a function ofTeff,logg, and metallicity individually and find no strong trends, but we compute statistically significant [Y/Mg]–Age relations for subsamples defined by ranges inTeff,logg, and metallicity. Finally, we compare [Y/Mg] and rotation ages and find statistically similar trends as for isochrone ages, although we find that rotation ages perform better for GK dwarfs while isochrones perform better for FG subgiants. We conclude that the [Y/Mg] Clock is most precise for solar twins and analogs but is also a useful age diagnostic for FGK stars.

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  3. Abstract

    We used a convolutional neural network to infer stellar rotation periods from a set of synthetic light curves simulated with realistic spot-evolution patterns. We convolved these simulated light curves with real TESS light curves containing minimal intrinsic astrophysical variability to allow the network to learn TESS systematics and estimate rotation periods despite them. In addition to periods, we predict uncertainties via heteroskedastic regression to estimate the credibility of the period predictions. In the most credible half of the test data, we recover 10% accurate periods for 46% of the targets, and 20% accurate periods for 69% of the targets. Using our trained network, we successfully recover periods of real stars with literature rotation measurements, even past the 13.7 day limit generally encountered by TESS rotation searches using conventional period-finding techniques. Our method also demonstrates resistance to half-period aliases. We present the neural network and simulated training data, and introduce the softwarebutterpyused to synthesize the light curves using realistic starspot evolution.

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  4. Abstract

    Radial velocity (RV) measurements of transiting multiplanet systems allow us to understand the densities and compositions of planets unlike those in the solar system. Kepler-102, which consists of five tightly packed transiting planets, is a particularly interesting system since it includes a super-Earth (Kepler-102d) and a sub-Neptune-sized planet (Kepler-102e) for which masses can be measured using RVs. Previous work found a high density for Kepler-102d, suggesting a composition similar to that of Mercury, while Kepler-102e was found to have a density typical of sub-Neptune size planets; however, Kepler-102 is an active star, which can interfere with RV mass measurements. To better measure the mass of these two planets, we obtained 111 new RVs using Keck/HIRES and Telescopio Nazionale Galileo/HARPS-N and modeled Kepler-102's activity using quasiperiodic Gaussian process regression. For Kepler-102d, we report a mass upper limitMd< 5.3M(95% confidence), a best-fit massMd= 2.5 ± 1.4M, and a densityρd= 5.6 ± 3.2 g cm−3, which is consistent with a rocky composition similar in density to the Earth. For Kepler-102e we report a massMe= 4.7 ± 1.7Mand a densityρe= 1.8 ± 0.7 g cm−3. These measurements suggest that Kepler-102e has a rocky core with a thick gaseous envelope comprising 2%–4% of the planet mass and 16%–50% of its radius. Our study is yet another demonstration that accounting for stellar activity in stars with clear rotation signals can yield more accurate planet masses, enabling a more realistic interpretation of planet interiors.

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  5. Abstract Asteroseismology of bright stars has become increasingly important as a method to determine the fundamental properties (in particular ages) of stars. The Kepler Space Telescope initiated a revolution by detecting oscillations in more than 500 main-sequence and subgiant stars. However, most Kepler stars are faint and therefore have limited constraints from independent methods such as long-baseline interferometry. Here we present the discovery of solar-like oscillations in α Men A, a naked-eye ( V = 5.1) G7 dwarf in TESS’s southern continuous viewing zone. Using a combination of astrometry, spectroscopy, and asteroseismology, we precisely characterize the solar analog α Men A ( T eff = 5569 ± 62 K, R ⋆ = 0.960 ± 0.016 R ⊙ , M ⋆ = 0.964 ± 0.045 M ⊙ ). To characterize the fully convective M dwarf companion, we derive empirical relations to estimate mass, radius, and temperature given the absolute Gaia magnitude and metallicity, yielding M ⋆ = 0.169 ± 0.006 M ⊙ , R ⋆ = 0.19 ± 0.01 R ⊙ , and T eff = 3054 ± 44 K. Our asteroseismic age of 6.2 ± 1.4 (stat) ± 0.6 (sys) Gyr for the primary places α Men B within a small population of M dwarfs with precisely measured ages. We combined multiple ground-based spectroscopy surveys to reveal an activity cycle of P = 13.1 ± 1.1 yr for α Men A, a period similar to that observed in the Sun. We used different gyrochronology models with the asteroseismic age to estimate a rotation period of ∼30 days for the primary. Alpha Men A is now the closest ( d = 10 pc) solar analog with a precise asteroseismic age from space-based photometry, making it a prime target for next-generation direct-imaging missions searching for true Earth analogs. 
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  6. null (Ed.)