Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac., 118, 617-635 (2006/April-0)
Ca II H and K chromospheric emission lines in Late-K and M dwarfs.
RAUSCHER E. and MARCY G.W.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have measured the profiles of the Ca II H and K chromospheric emission lines in 147 main-sequence stars of spectral type M5-K7 (masses 0.30-0.55 M☉) using multiple high-resolution spectra obtained during 6 years with the HIRES spectrometer on the Keck I telescope. Remarkably, the average FWHM, equivalent widths, and line luminosities of Ca II H and K increase by a factor of 3 with increasing stellar mass over this small range of stellar masses. We fit the Ca II H and K lines with a double-Gaussian model to represent both the chromospheric emission and the non-LTE central absorption. Most of the sample stars display a central absorption that is typically redshifted by ∼0.1 km/s relative to the emission. This implies that the higher level, lower density chromospheric material has a smaller outward velocity (or higher inward velocity) by 0.1 km/s than the lower level material in the chromosphere, but the nature of this velocity gradient remains unknown. The FWHM of the Ca II H and K emission lines increase with stellar luminosity, reminiscent of the Wilson-Bappu effect in FGK-type stars. Both the equivalent widths and FWHM exhibit modest temporal variability in individual stars. At a given value of MV, stars exhibit a spread in both the equivalent width and FWHM of Ca II H and K, due both to a spread in fundamental stellar parameters, including rotation rate, age, and possibly metallicity, and to the spread in stellar mass at a given MV. The K line is consistently wider than the H line, as expected, and its central absorption is more redshifted, indicating that the H and K lines form at slightly different heights in the chromosphere where the velocities are slightly different. The equivalent width of Hα correlates with Ca II H and K only for stars having Ca II equivalent widths above ∼2 Å, suggesting the existence of a magnetic threshold above which the lower and upper chromospheres become thermally coupled.
Stars: Chromospheres - Stars: Late-Type
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