Tuesday, July 9, 2013

1307.2099 (Adam F. Kowalski et al.)

Time-Resolved Properties and Global Trends in dMe Flares from Simultaneous Photometry and Spectra    [PDF]

Adam F. Kowalski, Suzanne L. Hawley, John P. Wisniewski, Rachel A. Osten, Eric J. Hilton, Jon A. Holtzman, Sarah J. Schmidt, James R. A. Davenport
We present a homogeneous survey of line and continuum emission from near-ultraviolet (NUV) to optical wavelengths during twenty M dwarf flares with simultaneous, high cadence photometry and spectra. These data were obtained to study the white-light continuum components at bluer and redder wavelengths than the Balmer jump. Our goals were to break the degeneracy between emission mechanisms that have been fit to broadband colors of flares and to provide constraints for radiative-hydrodynamic (RHD) flare models that seek to reproduce the white-light flare emission. The main results from the continuum analysis are the following: 1) the detection of Balmer continuum (in emission) that is present during all flares and with a wide range of relative contributions to the continuum flux at bluer wavelengths than the Balmer jump; 2) a blue continuum at flare maximum that is linearly decreasing with wavelength from \lambda = 4000-4800\AA, matched by the spectral shape of hot, blackbody emission with typical temperatures of T_{BB}~9000-14,000 K; 3) a redder continuum apparent at wavelengths longer than H\beta\ (\lambda > 4900\AA) which becomes relatively more important to the energy budget during the late gradual phase. We calculate Balmer jump flux ratios and compare to RHD model spectra. The model ratios are too large and the blue-optical (\lambda = 4000-4800\AA) slopes are too red in both the impulsive and gradual decay phases of all twenty flares. This discrepancy implies that further work is needed to understand the heating at high column mass during dMe flares. (Abridged)
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1307.2099

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