Astrophys. J., 764, 3 (2013/February-2)
Hα activity of old M dwarfs: stellar cycles and mean activity levels for 93 low-mass stars in the solar neighborhood.
ROBERTSON P., ENDL M., COCHRAN W.D. and DODSON-ROBINSON S.E.
Abstract (from CDS):
Through the McDonald Observatory M Dwarf Planet Search, we have acquired nearly 3000 high-resolution spectra of 93 late-type (K5-M5) stars over more than a decade using the High Resolution Spectrograph on the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. This sample provides a unique opportunity to investigate the occurrence of long-term stellar activity cycles for low-mass stars. In this paper, we examine the stellar activity of our targets as reflected in the Hα feature. We have identified periodic signals for six stars, with periods ranging from days to more than 10 years, and find long-term trends for seven others. Stellar cycles with P ≥ 1 year are present for at least 5% of our targets. Additionally, we present an analysis of the time-averaged activity levels of our sample, and search for correlations with other stellar properties. In particular, we find that more massive, earlier type (M0-M2) stars tend to be more active than later type dwarfs. Furthermore, high-metallicity stars tend to be more active at a given stellar mass. We also evaluate Hα variability as a tracer of activity-induced radial velocity (RV) variation. For the M dwarf GJ 1170, Hα variation reveals stellar activity patterns matching those seen in the RVs, mimicking the signal of a giant planet, and we find evidence that the previously identified stellar activity cycle of GJ 581 may be responsible for the recently retracted planet f in that system. In general, though, we find that Hα is not frequently correlated with RV at the precision (typically 6-7 m/s) of our measurements.
planetary systems - stars: activity - stars: kinematics and dynamics - stars: late-type - techniques: radial velocities - techniques: spectroscopic
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<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/764/3): stars.dat table2.dat>
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