Published February 25, 2021 | Version v1
Poster Open

Upper limits on the CME frequency of solar-like stars

  • 1. University of Graz, Institute of Physics/IGAM, NAWI Graz, Austria
  • 2. Konkoly Observatory, MTA CSFK, Budapest, Hungary
  • 3. Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Karl-Schwarzschild-Observatorium, Germany
  • 4. European Southern Observatory (ESO), Santiago, Chile
  • 5. Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria




In the last years efforts have been made to determine parameters of stellar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), on the one hand via acquiring dedicated observing time at telescopes and on the
other hand via searching data archives. Here we present a search for CMEs on solar-like stars using optical spectroscopic data from the Polarbase and ESO HARPS Phase 3 archives. For
detecting stellar CMEs we use the signature of filaments/prominences being ejected from a star, which is Doppler-shifted emission/absorption occurring on the blue side of Balmer lines, as
filaments/prominences are very pronounced in Balmer lines. Using more than 3700 hours of on-source time of 425 stars we aim for a statistical determination of CME parameters, such as
projected velocity, occurrence frequency, and mass. The target stars are nearby objects and consist of F-K main-sequence stars of various ages. We find no signature of CME activity and a
very low level of flaring activity (10 out of 425 stars). Comparing this to results from the Kepler mission, the fraction of flaring stars is more or less consistent. Comparing extrapolated Hα flare
rates to the sparse detection of flares reveals that we could have detected more flares. We therefore determined the full-disk Hα signal of one of the strongest solar flares in the last solar cycles.
This showed that we would have needed data with higher S/N to detect such a flare in our data. Finally, we compared the observed upper limits of CME rates of our target stars to modelled
CME rates. The modelled CME rates are mostly below the observationally determined upper limits, indicating that most on-source times per star were too short to detect stellar CMEs with this
method. The sparse detection of flares and the non-detection of CMEs may be explained by biases naturally introduced by using archival data, as well as a a low level of activity of the target
stars. We conclude with a short report on ongoing and future activities of the search for stellar CMEs.



Files (695.7 kB)

Name Size Download all
695.7 kB Preview Download

Additional details


CME activity of the Sun in different evolutionary stages P 30949
FWF Austrian Science Fund


  • Audard, M., Güdel, M., Drake, J. J., & Kashyap, V. L. 2000, ApJ, 541, 396
  • Balona, L. A. 2015, MNRAS, 447, 2714
  • Butler, C. J. 1990, in IAU Symposium, Vol. 137, Flare Stars in Star Clusters, Associations and the Solar Vicinity, ed. L. V. Mirzoian, B. R. Pettersen, & M. K. Tsvetkov, 153
  • Butler, C. J., Rodono, M., & Foing, B. H. 1988, A&A, 206, L1
  • Leitzinger, M., Odert, P., Greimel, R., et al. 2020, MNRAS, 493, 4570 [6] Moschou, S.-P., Drake, J. J., Cohen, O., et al. 2019, ApJ, 877, 105
  • Odert, P., Leitzinger, M., Guenther, E. W., & Heinzel, P. 2020, MNRAS, 494, 3766
  • Van Doorsselaere, T., Shariati, H., & Debosscher, J. 2017, ApJS, 232, 26
  • Yang, H. & Liu, J. 2019, ApJS, 241, 29