Investigating hyper-inflated M dwarfs in eclipsing binary systems
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We study two eclipsing binary systems (EBs), each containing an M dwarf which published literature claims has a radius far larger than expected physical limitations. In order to test these claims of “hyper-inflation,” we look to Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) stellar models and a new data analysis based on light curves from the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP). We also analyze new radial velocity data points from the Immersion Grating Infrared Spectrograph (IGRINS) and compare the results with published values. MESA models cast doubt on the hypothesis that each EB is a young, still-collapsing proto-stellar system, and a literature review rules out the possibility that convection-inhibiting magnetic activity is the cause. Our new data analysis reveals that neither M dwarf is hyper-inflated, and that the likely cause of the initial results is the use of Hydrogen-α spectroscopy.