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Creators/Authors contains: "Tofflemire, Benjamin M."

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  1. Abstract

    We present a multi-epoch spectroscopic study of LkCa 4, a heavily spotted non-accreting T Tauri star. Using SpeX at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), 12 spectra were collected over five consecutive nights, spanning ≈1.5 stellar rotations. Using the IRTF SpeX Spectral Library, we constructed empirical composite models of spotted stars by combining a warmer (photosphere) standard star spectrum with a cooler (spot) standard weighted by the spot filling factor,fspot. The best-fit models spanned two photospheric component temperatures,Tphot= 4100 K (K7V) and 4400 K (K5V), and one spot component temperature,Tspot= 3060 K (M5V) with anAVof 0.3. We find values offspotto vary between 0.77 and 0.94 with an average uncertainty of ∼0.04. The variability offspotis periodic and correlates with its 3.374 day rotational period. Using a mean value forfmeanspotto represent the total spot coverage, we calculated spot corrected values forTeffandL. Placing these values alongside evolutionary models developed for heavily spotted young stars, we infer mass and age ranges of 0.45–0.6Mand 0.50–1.25 Myr, respectively. These inferred values represent a twofold increase in the mass and a twofold decrease in the age as compared to standard evolutionary models. Such a result highlights the need for constraining the contributions of cool and warm regionsmore »of young stellar atmospheres when estimatingTeffandLto infer masses and ages as well as the necessity for models to account for the effects of these regions on the early evolution of low-mass stars.

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  2. Abstract

    Stellar radius measurements from eclipsing binaries are typically ∼5% larger than standard stellar models predict. This disagreement means we are unable to derive reliable model-dependent radii, which impact stellar and exoplanet characterization. Using light curves from the TESS satellite and high-resolution, near-infrared spectra from IGRINS, we determine the masses and radii of a main sequence eclipsing binary, V1177 Cen (TIC 3099339). We detrend the light curve using a Gaussian process and derive radial velocities using spectral-line broadening functions, fitting both jointly in an MCMC framework. We find that both stars are near 1Mwith radii 6%–9% larger than the Sun. Based on the absence of Lithium in optical spectra, the inflation is potentially the effect of early post-main sequence evolution, or magnetic fields. We compare our measurement to model isochrones, finding the most consistent agreement with models that include magnetic fields, and correspond to an age of ∼4 Gyr.

  3. Abstract

    Sub-subgiant stars (SSGs) fall below the subgiant branch and/or red of the giant branch in open and globular clusters, an area of the color–magnitude diagram (CMD) not populated by standard stellar evolution tracks. One hypothesis is that SSGs result from rapid rotation in subgiants or giants due to tidal synchronization in a close binary. The strong magnetic fields generated inhibit convection, which in turn produces large starspots, radius inflation, and lower-than-expected average surface temperatures and luminosities. Here we cross-reference a catalog of active giant binaries (RS CVns) in the field with Gaia EDR3. Using the Gaia photometry and parallaxes, we precisely position the RS CVns in a CMD. We identify stars that fall below a 14 Gyr, metal-rich isochrone as candidate field SSGs. Out of a sample of 1723 RS CVn, we find 448 SSG candidates, a dramatic expansion from the 65 SSGs previously known. Most SSGs have rotation periods of 2–20 days, with the highest SSG fraction found among RS CVn with the shortest periods. The ubiquity of SSGs among this population indicates that SSGs are a normal phase in evolution for RS CVn-type systems, not rare by-products of dynamical encounters found only in dense star clusters asmore »some have suggested. We present our catalog of 1723 active giants, including Gaia photometry and astrometry, and rotation periods from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and International Variable Star Index (VSX). This catalog can serve as an important sample to study the impacts of magnetic fields in evolved stars.

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  4. Abstract

    Young planets provide a window into the early stages and evolution of planetary systems. Ideal planets for such research are in coeval associations, where the parent population can precisely determine their ages. We describe a young association (MELANGE-3) in the Kepler field, which harbors two transiting planetary systems (KOI-3876 and Kepler-970). We identify MELANGE-3 by searching for kinematic and spatial overdensities around Kepler planet hosts with high levels of lithium. To determine the age and membership of MELANGE-3, we combine new high-resolution spectra with archival light curves, velocities, and astrometry of stars near KOI-3876 spatially and kinematically. We use the resulting rotation sequence, lithium levels, and color–magnitude diagram of candidate members to confirm the presence of a coeval 105 ± 10 Myr population. MELANGE-3 may be part of the recently identified Theia 316 stream. For the two exoplanet systems, we revise the stellar and planetary parameters, taking into account the newly determined age. Fitting the 4.5 yr Kepler light curves, we find that KOI-3876b is a 2.0 ± 0.1Rplanet on a 19.58 day orbit, while Kepler-970 b is a 2.8 ± 0.2Rplanet on a 16.73 day orbit. KOI-3876 was previously flagged as an eclipsing binary, which we rule outmore »using radial velocities from APOGEE and statistically validate the signal as planetary in origin. Given its overlap with the Kepler field, MELANGE-3 is valuable for studies of spot evolution on year timescales, and both planets contribute to the growing work on transiting planets in young stellar associations.

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  5. Abstract

    Our understanding of the impact of magnetic activity on stellar evolution continues to unfold. This impact is seen in sub-subgiant stars, defined to be stars that sit below the subgiant branch and red of the main sequence in a cluster color–magnitude diagram. Here we focus on S1063, a prototypical sub-subgiant in open cluster M67. We use a novel technique combining a two-temperature spectral decomposition and light-curve analysis to constrain starspot properties over a multiyear time frame. Using a high-resolution near-infrared IGRINS spectrum and photometric data from K2 and ASAS-SN, we find a projected spot filling factor of 32% ± 7% with a spot temperature of 4000 ± 200 K. This value anchors the variability seen in the light curve, indicating the spot filling factor of S1063 ranged from 20% to 45% over a four-year time period with an average spot filling factor of 30%. These values are generally lower than those determined from photometric model comparisons but still indicate that S1063, and likely other sub-subgiants, are magnetically active spotted stars. We find observational and theoretical comparisons of spotted stars are nuanced due to the projected spot coverage impacting estimates of the surface-averaged effective temperature. The starspot properties found heremore »are similar to those found in RS CVn systems, supporting classifying sub-subgiants as another type of active giant star binary system. This technique opens the possibility of characterizing the surface conditions of many more spotted stars than previous methods, allowing for larger future studies to test theoretical models of magnetically active stars.

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  6. Abstract We present measurements of the H- and K -band veiling for 141 young stellar objects (YSOs) in the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region using high-resolution spectra from the Immersion Grating Near-Infrared Spectrometer. In addition to providing measurements of r H and r K , we produce low-resolution spectra of the excess emission across the H and K bands. We fit temperatures to the excess spectra of 46 members of our sample and measure near-infrared excess temperatures ranging from 1200–2200 K, with an average of 1575 ± 225 K. We compare the luminosity of the excess continuum emission in Class II and Class III YSOs and find that a number of Class III sources display a significant amount of excess flux in the near-infrared. We conclude that the mid-infrared SED slope, and therefore young stellar object classification, is a poor predictor of the amount of near-infrared veiling. If the veiling arises in thermal emission from dust, its presence implies a significant amount of remaining inner-disk (<1 au) material in these Class III sources. We also discuss the possibility that the veiling effects could result from massive photospheric spots, unresolved binary companions, or accretion emission. Six low-mass members of our sample contain amore »prominent feature in their H -band excess spectra that is consistent with veiling from cool photospheric spots.« less
  7. Abstract

    We report the discovery and characterization of a nearby (∼85 pc), older (27 ± 3 Myr), distributed stellar population near Lower Centaurus Crux (LCC), initially identified by searching for stars comoving with a candidate transiting planet from TESS (HD 109833; TOI 1097). We determine the association membership using Gaia kinematics, color–magnitude information, and rotation periods of candidate members. We measure its age using isochrones, gyrochronology, and Li depletion. While the association is near known populations of LCC, we find that it is older than any previously found LCC subgroup (10–16 Myr), and distinct in both position and velocity. In addition to the candidate planets around HD 109833, the association contains four directly imaged planetary-mass companions around three stars, YSES-1, YSES-2, and HD 95086, all of which were previously assigned membership in the younger LCC. Using the Notch pipeline, we identify a second candidate transiting planet around HD 109833. We use a suite of ground-based follow-up observations to validate the two transit signals as planetary in nature. HD 109833 b and c join the small but growing population of <100 Myr transiting planets from TESS. HD 109833 has a rotation period and Li abundance indicative of a young age (≲100more »Myr), but a position and velocity on the outskirts of the new population, lower Li levels than similar members, and a color–magnitude diagram position below model predictions for 27 Myr. So, we cannot reject the possibility that HD 109833 is a young field star coincidentally nearby the population.

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