The flaring M4 dwarf GJ 1243 has become a benchmark for studying stellar flare and starspot activity thanks to the exceptional photometric monitoring archive from the Kepler mission. New light curves from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission for this star allow precise stellar activity characterization over more than a decade timescale. We have carried out the first flare and starspot analysis of GJ 1243 from over 50 days of data from TESS Sectors 14 and 15. Using 133 flare events detected in the 2 minute cadence TESS data, we compare the cumulative flare frequency distributions, and find the flare activity for GJ 1243 is unchanged between the Kepler and TESS epochs. Two distinct starspot groups are found in the TESS data, with the primary spot having the same rotational period and phase as seen in Kepler. The phase of the secondary spot feature is consistent with the predicted location of the secondary starspot and measurement of weak differential rotation, suggesting this secondary spot may be long-lived and stable in both latitude and longitude. As expected for this highly active star, the constant spot and flare activity reveal no sign of solar-like activity cycles over 10 yr. However, we highlight the unique ability for Kepler and TESS to use flare rates to detect activity cycles.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- July 2020
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 14 pages, 5 figures, AJ accepted