NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0372

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0372


PI: David R. Soderblom, Space Telescope Science Institute, drs@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

CoI: Jeff Valenti, STScI
CoI: Rachel Osten, STScI
CoI: Peiyuan Mao, Lafayette College

Title: The flaring behavior of G and K dwarfs as seen in the Kepler Q1 data

Abstract: We have found G and K dwarfs in the Kepler Q1 data release that exhibit dramatic white-light flares, with energies \gtrsim10^4 times those of the most energetic solar flares ever seen and with decay time- scales of hours. At the same time, these do not appear to be unusually young stars, and there are many Kepler stars with similar properties (temperature, rotation period, and amplitude of variation) that show no flares. What sets the flaring stars apart? What drives the behavior? Almost nothing is known of these stars, but the echelle spectra we seek would enable us to, first, confirm that these stars are young; second, to estimate how young; third, to determine if the flaring stars are in close binary systems; fourth, to determine overall abundances (as well as lithium); and, finally, to get some firm physical insight into these stars and their extraordinary behavior. We will obtain spectra as well for a comparable number of other Kepler stars that do not show flares but are otherwise similar, as a control sample.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0372

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