Stellar ages, masses and radii from asteroseismic modeling are robust to systematic errors in spectroscopy

Earl P. Bellinger, Saskia Hekker, George C. Angelou, Amalie Stokholm, Sarbani Basu

Stellar ages, masses and radii from asteroseismic modeling are robust to systematic errors in spectroscopy
See arXiv version
Accepted for publication in A&A


The search for twins of the Sun and Earth relies on accurate characterization of stellar and exoplanetary parameters: i.e., ages, masses, and radii. In the modern era of asteroseismology, parameters of solar-like stars are derived by fitting theoretical models to observational data, which include measurements of their oscillation frequencies, metallicity [Fe/H], and effective temperature Teff. Combining this information with transit data furthermore yields the corresponding parameters for their exoplanets. While [Fe/H] and Teff are commonly stated to a precision of ~0.1 dex and ~100 K, the impact of errors in their measurement has not been studied in practice within the context of the parameters derived from them. Here we use the Stellar Parameters in an Instant (SPI) pipeline to estimate the parameters of nearly 100 stars observed by Kepler and Gaia, many of which are confirmed planet hosts. We adjust the reported spectroscopic measurements of these stars by introducing faux systematic errors and artificially increasing the reported uncertainties, and quantify the differences in the resulting parameters. We find that a systematic error of 0.1 dex in [Fe/H] translates to differences of only 4%, 2%, and 1% on average in the resulting stellar ages, masses, and radii, which are well within their uncertainties (~11%, 3.5%, 1.4%) as derived by SPI. We also find that increasing the uncertainty of [Fe/H] measurements by 0.1 dex increases the uncertainties by only 0.01 Gyr, 0.02 M_sun, and 0.01 R_sun, which are again well below their reported uncertainties (0.5 Gyr, 0.04 M_sun, 0.02 R_sun). The results for Teff at 100 K are similar. Stellar parameters from SPI are unchanged within uncertainties by errors of up to 0.14 dex or 175 K, and are even more robust to errors in Teff than the seismic scaling relations. Consequently, the parameters for their exoplanets are robust as well.

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