Flares in Time-Domain Surveys

A COOL STARS 19 splinter session

07 June 2016 14:30 - 17:30
Abstracts due 09 May 2016 29 April 2016

Videos of Splinter Talks

Session organizers

Scientific Motivation

The goal of this splinter session is to identify outstanding questions in solar and stellar flare physics that can be addressed in novel ways using the large volume of flare observations in past, current, and future surveys.

Stellar flares are often the dominant source of transient variability in time-domain surveys. Critical aspects of the flare paradigm and dynamo mechanism have been revealed by serendipitous observations in recent large scale surveys (e.g. Kepler, SDSS). Discoveries such as flare rates from inactive stars and “superflares” from field G dwarfs have been enabled by surveys with long monitoring baselines and/or large spatial extents that reveal very rare events. Several existing surveys (e.g., Galex, MEarth, PTF, PanSTARRS, WASP) also offer rich samples of flaring sources. Gaia, TESS, ZTF, and LSST, will open additional new avenues for stellar flare research in the future, such as determining flare rates over cosmic time, the maximum energy of flares, and flare impacts on planet habitability and biomarker detection.

It is also an exciting time for solar flare research, with enormous databases from full-disk monitoring satellites such as SOHO and SDO, a new emphasis on the importance of solar chromospheric emission during flares (e.g. F-CHROMA), and the upcoming capabilities of DKIST. Solar physicists have been at the forefront of analyzing large volumes of high time resolution data for decades, which can inform stellar flare investigations, and improve the standard solar flare model. The connection between flare activity and the underlying magnetic field seen on the Sun can also constrain stellar flare models. However, many important aspects of solar flares are not yet well-characterized observationally, in particular the spectral energy distribution of white-light emission that constitutes the majority of radiated energy. The wealth of data from these surveys will better determine the role of solar flares in generating our own space weather, and have implications for the severity and conditions that characterize stellar space weather.

Our proposed splinter will consist of both invited and contributed talks, and a round table discussion moderated by members of the SOC. The aim of this splinter session is to identify problems common to both solar and stellar flares that can be solved by a collaborative effort combining survey data from both communities. This splinter session is timely and should be convened at Cool Stars 19 because many existing solar and stellar surveys have not been fully utilized, and new projects such as Gaia and DKIST will soon provide enormous amounts of public data on the transient sky and the Sun that can be mined for flare studies.

Program (click for abstracts)


Submissions for Contributed Talks are currently being accepted via this webform.
Deadline: 09 May 2016 29 April 2016


Questions about this splinter session can be directed to adam.f.kowalski@nasa.gov