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  1. Abstract

    Accurate tracers of the stellar magnetic field and rotation are cornerstones for the study of M dwarfs and for reliable detection and characterization of their exoplanetary companions. Such measurements are particularly challenging for old, slowly rotating, fully convective M dwarfs. To explore the use of new activity and rotation tracers, we examined multiyear near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic monitoring of two such stars—GJ 699 (Barnard’s Star) and Teegarden’s Star—carried out with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder spectrograph. We detected periodic variations in absorption line widths across the stellar spectrum, with higher amplitudes toward longer wavelengths. We also detected similar variations in the strength and width of the 12435.67 Å neutral potassium (Ki) line, a known tracer of the photospheric magnetic field. Attributing these variations to rotational modulation, we confirm the known 145 ± 15 day rotation period of GJ 699, and measure the rotation period of Teegarden’s Star to be 99.6 ± 1.4 days. Based on simulations of the Kiline and the wavelength dependence of the line-width signal, we argue that the observed signals are consistent with varying photospheric magnetic fields and the associated Zeeman effect. These results highlight the value of detailed line profile measurements in the NIR for diagnosing stellarmore »magnetic field variability. Such measurements may be pivotal for disentangling activity and exoplanet-related signals in spectroscopic monitoring of old, low-mass stars.

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  2. Abstract Individual chemical abundances for 14 elements (C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni) are derived for a sample of M dwarfs using high-resolution, near-infrared H -band spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IV/Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) survey. The quantitative analysis included synthetic spectra computed with 1D LTE plane-parallel MARCS models using the APOGEE Data Release 17 line list to determine chemical abundances. The sample consists of 11 M dwarfs in binary systems with warmer FGK dwarf primaries and 10 measured interferometric angular diameters. To minimize atomic diffusion effects, [X/Fe] ratios are used to compare M dwarfs in binary systems and literature results for their warmer primary stars, indicating good agreement (<0.08 dex) for all studied elements. The mean abundance difference in primaries minus this work’s M dwarfs is −0.05 ± 0.03 dex. It indicates that M dwarfs in binary systems are a reliable way to calibrate empirical relationships. A comparison with abundance, effective temperature, and surface gravity results from the APOGEE Stellar Parameter and Chemical Abundances Pipeline (ASPCAP) Data Release 16 finds a systematic offset of [M/H], T eff , log g = +0.21 dex, −50 K, andmore »0.30 dex, respectively, although ASPCAP [X/Fe] ratios are generally consistent with this study. The metallicities of the M dwarfs cover the range of [Fe/H] = −0.9 to +0.4 and are used to investigate Galactic chemical evolution via trends of [X/Fe] as a function of [Fe/H]. The behavior of the various elemental abundances [X/Fe] versus [Fe/H] agrees well with the corresponding trends derived from warmer FGK dwarfs, demonstrating that the APOGEE spectra can be used to examine Galactic chemical evolution using large samples of selected M dwarfs.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023