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  1. Abstract

    51 Eri is well known for hosting a directly imaged giant planet and for its membership to theβPictoris moving group. Using 2 minute cadence photometry from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), we detect multiperiodic variability in 51 Eri that is consistent with pulsations of Gamma Doradus (γDor) stars. We identify the most significant pulsation modes (with frequencies between ∼0.5 and 3.9 cycles day−1and amplitudes ranging between ∼1 and 2 mmag) as dipole and quadrupole gravity modes, as well as Rossby modes, as previously observed in KeplerγDor stars. Our results demonstrate that previously reported variability attributed to stellar rotation is instead likely due toγDor pulsations. Using the mean frequency of the= 1 gravity modes, together with empirical trends of the KeplerγDor population, we estimate a plausible stellar core rotation period of0.90.1+0.3days for 51 Eri. We find no significant evidence for transiting companions around 51 Eri in the residual light curve. The detection ofγDor pulsations presented here, together with follow-up observations and modeling, may enable the determination of an asteroseismic age for this benchmark system. Future TESS observations would allow a constraint on the stellar core rotation rate, which in turn traces the surface rotation rate, andmore »thus would help clarify whether or not the stellar equatorial plane and orbit of 51 Eri b are coplanar.

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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 themore »[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 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  4. Abstract

    We show that a small but measurable shift in the eclipse midpoint time of eclipsing binary (EBs) stars of ∼0.1 s over a decade baseline can be used to directly measure the Galactic acceleration of stars in the Milky Way at ∼kiloparsec distances from the Sun. We consider contributions to the period drift rate from dynamical mechanisms other than the Galaxy’s gravitational field and show that the Galactic acceleration can be reliably measured using a sample of Kepler EBs with orbital and stellar parameters from the literature. The contribution from tidal decay we estimate here is an upper limit assuming the stars are not tidally synchronized. We find there are about 200 detached EBs that have estimated timing precision better than 0.5 s, and for which other dynamical effects are subdominant to the Galactic signal. We illustrate the method with a prototypical, precisely timed EB using an archival Kepler light curve and a modern synthetic HST light curve (which provides a decade baseline). This novel method establishes a realistic possibility to constrain dark matter substructure and the Galactic potential using eclipse timing to measure Galactic accelerations, along with other emerging new methods, including pulsar timing and extreme-precision radial velocitymore »observations. This acceleration signal grows quadratically with time. Therefore, given baselines established in the near future for distant EBs, we can expect to measure the period drift in the future with space missions like JWST and the Roman Space Telescope.

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  5. During the first half of main-sequence lifetimes, the evolution of rotation and magnetic activity in solar-type stars appears to be strongly coupled. Recent observations suggest that rotation rates evolve much more slowly beyond middle-age, while stellar activity continues to decline. We aim to characterize this mid-life transition by combining archival stellar activity data from the Mount Wilson Observatory with asteroseismology from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). For two stars on opposite sides of the transition (88 Leo and ρ CrB), we independently assess the mean activity levels and rotation periods previously reported in the literature. For the less active star (ρ CrB), we detect solar-like oscillations from TESS photometry, and we obtain precise stellar properties from asteroseismic modeling. We derive updated X-ray luminosities for both stars to estimate their mass-loss rates, and we use previously published constraints on magnetic morphology to model the evolutionary change in magnetic braking torque. We then attempt to match the observations with rotational evolution models, assuming either standard spin-down or weakened magnetic braking. We conclude that the asteroseismic age of ρ CrB is consistent with the expected evolution of its mean activity level, and that weakened braking models can more readily explain its relativelymore »fast rotation rate. Future spectropolarimetric observations across a range of spectral types promise to further characterize the shift in magnetic morphology that apparently drives this mid-life transition in solar-type stars.« less