The Mass-Radius-Luminosity-Rotation Relationship for M Dwarf Stars
NASA's future Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission is expected to discover hundreds of terrestrial exoplanets orbiting around M dwarf stars, which will be nearby and amenable to detailed characterization. To accurately measure radii and equilibrium temperatures of these exoplanets, we need to know the host star properties, specifically mass, radius and luminosity, to equal accuracy. However, relationships for M dwarf stellar properties are poorly constrained, which leaves us unprepared to characterize exoplanets to be discovered by the TESS mission. The best way to determine relationships for M dwarf stars is to study mutually eclipsing binaries because the photometric and spectroscopic data empirically determine the physical parameters of the stars. We are conducting an on-going survey to measure infrared eclipses and individual spectra of carefully selected M dwarf eclipsing binary targets. We are using Mimir, a near-infrared wide-field imager, on the 72-inch Perkins Telescope near Flagstaff, Arizona, to determine the J, H, and K band magnitudes of the individual stars, and we are using Keck HIRES to measure the radial velocities of each component. Combining the observations, we determine the masses, radii and the semi-major axes of each component to an accuracy of 1%. We are also using measured parallaxes to determine the individual components' absolute infrared magnitudes and bolometric luminosities. The ultimate goal is to combine the measurements to determine the mass-radius-luminosity-rotation relationship for M dwarf stars. The relationship is critical for choosing the best TESS M dwarf exoplanets for detailed characterization.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #227
- Pub Date:
- January 2016