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Parkes observations for project P1018 semester 2019APRS_08
Stellar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) may significantly impact the habitability of their planetary companions. M-dwarfs are particularly interesting in this regard, as they are known to flare more frequently and powerfully than the Sun, and a large fraction of them are likely to host planets within their habitable zones. To fully charact... moreerise the impact of stellar activity and space weather events on companion planets, a sustained, multi-wavelength campaign is required to trace particle acceleration and energisation occurring in distinct regions of the stellar magnetosphere. The discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting within the ‘habitable zone’ of the active M-dwarf Proxima Centauri has spurred renewed interest of this system in the literature. At just 1.3 pc away, this system is ideal for developing our understanding of the impact of space weather events on Earth-like planets around active stars. As part of a large, multi-wavelength international campaign we are proposing 60 hours of Parkes Radio Telescope observations targeting Proxima Centauri, using the new UWL receiver. The large instantaneous bandwidth and high time-resolution capability of the Parkes UWL receiver will allow us to comprehensively characterise radio bursts at gigahertz frequencies. This will provide important diagnostics of the magnetospheric environment of this star, and may enable direct observation of space weather events such as CMEs. If successful, these observations will be a key part of an extensive campaign that will significantly improve our understanding of our nearest stellar neighbour. less
Astronomical and Space Sciences not elsewhere classified
01 Apr 2019
30 Sep 2019
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence
Zic, Andrew; Murphy, Tara; Lenc, Emil; Price, Danny; Croft, Steve; Lynch, Christene; Kaplan, David (2019): Parkes observations for project P1018 semester 2019APRS_08. v1. CSIRO. Data Collection.
All Rights (including copyright) CSIRO 2019.
Access to this collection's metadata and/or files (if any) are restricted until 30 Mar 2021.
Australia Telescope National Facility
P1018 - Wide-band radio monitoring of space weather on Proxima Centauri
Flares and outbursts from other stars may be lethal to their planetary companions. An interesting type of object to study in this area are red dwarf stars – these small, cool stars flare much more frequently and more powerfully than our Sun. It is thought that red dwarfs are by far the most common type of star in the Galaxy, and that many of them c... moreould host planets within their ‘habitable zones’, where the temperature is suitable for liquid water on the planetary surface. However, because red dwarfs are so cool, the habitable zone is very close to the star, which means that these planets may be subject to lethal effects. The nearest star to the Sun, Proxima Centauri, is 4.3 light-years away, and hosts an Earth-like planet within its habitable zone, named Proxima Centauri b. Proxima Centauri is a highly active red dwarf, but its behaviour at radio frequencies isn’t well-understood. To understand more about the star’s magnetic environment, and what this means for the hospitability of Proxima Centauri b, we are monitoring Proxima Centauri with the Parkes Radio Telescope to search for radio bursts. These observations are part of a large, international campaign to monitor Proxima Centauri with many different telescopes, including the Murchison Widefield Array, and the Hubble Space Telescope. Altogether, these Parkes Radio Telescope observations are an important part of a campaign that will significantly improve our understanding of the environment and hospitability of our nearest stellar neighbour. less