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Superflares on Solar Type Stars Observed with Kepler I. Statistical Properties of Superflares  

Takuya Shibayama   Submitted: 2013-08-07 21:51

By extending our previous study by Maehara et al. (2012), we searched for superflares on G-type dwarfs (solar type stars) using Kepler data for a longer period (500 days) than that (120 days) in our previous study. As a result, we found 1547 superflares on 279 G-type dwarfs, which are much more than previous 365 superflares on 148 stars. Using these new data, we studied the statistical properties of occurrence frequency of superflares, and basically confirmed the previous results, i.e., the occurrence frequency (dN/dE) of superflares vs flare energy (E) shows power-law distribution with dN/dE propto E^{ α , where α ~ 2. It is interesting that this distribution is roughly on the same line as that for solar flares. In the case of the Sun-like stars (with surface temperature 5600-6000K and slowly rotating with a period longer than 10 days), the occurrence frequency of superflares with energy of 1034 -1035 erg is once in 800-5000 years. We also studied long term (500 days) stellar brightness variation of these superflare stars, and found that in some G-type dwarfs the occurrence frequency of superflares was extremely high, ~ 57 superflares in 500 days (i.e., once in 10 days). In the case of Sun-like stars, the most active stars show the frequency of one superflares (with 1034 erg) in 100 days. There is evidence that these superflares have extremely large starspots with a size about 10 times larger than that of the largest sunspot. We argue that the physical origin of extremely high occurrence frequency of superflares in these stars may be attributed to the existence of extremely large starspots.

Authors: Takuya Shibayama, Hiroyuki Maehara, Shota Notsu, Yuta Notsu, Takashi Nagao, Satoshi Honda, Takako T. Ishii, Daisaku Nogami, Kazunari Shibata
Projects: None

Publication Status: ApJ accepted
Last Modified: 2013-08-08 11:02
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Superflares on Solar Type Stars Observed with Kepler I. Statistical Properties of Superflares

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