Prominence formation and ejection in cool stars

Carolina Susana Villarreal D'Angelo, Moira Mary Jardine, Wyke Chun Victor See

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The observational signatures of prominences have been detected in single and binary G and K type stars for many years now, but recently this has been extended to the M dwarf regime. Prominences carry away both mass and angular momentum when they are ejected and the impact of this mass on any orbiting planets may be important for the evolution of exoplanetary atmospheres. By means of the classification used in the massive star community, that involves knowledge of two parameters (the co-rotation and Alfvén radii, rK and rA), we have determined which cool stars could support prominences. From a model of mechanical support, we have determined that the prominence mass mp/M*=(EM/EG)(r*/rK)2F where EMB2r3 and EG=GM2/r are magnetic and gravitational energies and F is a geometric factor. Our calculated masses and ejection frequencies (typically 1016−1017g and 0.4 d, respectively) are consistent with observations and are sufficient to ensure that an exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of an M dwarf could suffer frequent impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2018


  • Stars: coronae
  • Stars: magnetic field
  • Stars: low-mass


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