The host stars of Kepler’s habitable exoplanets: superflares, rotation and activity

Armstrong, D. J.Pugh, C. E.; Broomhall, A.-M.; Brown, D. J. A.; Lund, M. N.; Osborn, H. P.; Pollacco, D. L.

The host stars of Kepler’s habitable exoplanets: superflares, rotation and activity,
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 455, Issue 3


We embark on a detailed study of the light curves of Kepler’s most Earth-like exoplanet host stars using the full length of Kepler data. We derive rotation periods, photometric activity indices, flaring energies, mass-loss rates, gyrochronological ages, X-ray luminosities and consider implications for the planetary magnetospheres and habitability. Furthermore, we present the detection of superflares in the light curve of Kepler-438, the exoplanet with the highest Earth Similarity Index to date. Kepler-438b orbits at a distance of 0.166 au to its host star, and hence may be susceptible to atmospheric stripping. Our sample is taken from the Habitable Exoplanet Catalogue, and consists of the stars Kepler-22, Kepler-61, Kepler-62, Kepler-174, Kepler-186, Kepler-283, Kepler-296, Kepler-298, Kepler-438, Kepler-440, Kepler-442, Kepler-443 and KOI-4427, between them hosting 15 of the most habitable transiting planets known to date from Kepler.

Key words: planets and satellites: general / planets and satellites: magnetic fields / stars: activity / stars: flare / stars: rotation

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