The Solar Neighborhood. XLI. A Study of the Wide Main Sequence for M Dwarfs—Long-term Photometric Variability
We report findings from a long-term photometric variability study of M dwarfs carried out at the SMARTS 0.9 m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. As part of a multi-faceted effort to investigate the range of luminosities of M dwarfs of a given color on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, 76 M dwarfs have been observed for 3-17 years in the Johnson-Kron-Cousins V band. We find that stars elevated above the center of the main sequence distribution tend to have higher levels of variability, likely caused by magnetic activity, than their fainter counterparts below the center. This study provides insight into how the long-term magnetic activity of these stars may be affecting their sizes, luminosities, and thus positions on the H-R Diagram.