Characterization of mid-type M dwarfs in the Kepler field
Muirhead, P. S.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationK Hardegree-Ullman, M Cushing, PS Muirhead. 2016. "Characterization of Mid-Type M Dwarfs in the Kepler Field." American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts.
The planet occurrence rate has been found to increase with decreasing stellar mass (later spectral types) in the original Kepler field, and one out of four M dwarfs are expected to host Earth-sized planets within their habitable zones. M dwarf systems are, therefore, our most promising targets in the search for exoplanets. Yet the identification and characterization of M dwarfs in the Kepler field was accomplished using photometry alone and unfortunately this method provides large uncertainties for late-type stars. Notably absent from planet occurrence calculations are single planet mid-type M dwarfs (~M2-M6). In order to make an accurate calculation of the planet occurrence rate around mid-type M dwarfs, we need to constrain stellar radii and masses which depend on other stellar parameters (e.g. temperature and metallicity). We have identified 559 probable mid-type M dwarfs using photometric color selection criteria and have started to gather spectra of these objects in order to better constrain stellar properties and refine planet occurrence rates for this population. Here we outline the methods we are using for stellar classification and characterization and present some results from our initial data.