The MUSCLES Treasury Survey. III. X-ray to infrared spectra of 11 M and K stars hosting planets

R. O. P. Loyd, Kevin France, Allison Youngblood, Christian Schneider, Alexander Brown, Renyu Hu, Jeffrey Linsky, Cynthia S. Froning, Seth Redfield, Sarah Rugheimer, Feng Tian

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    160 Citations (Scopus)


    We present a catalog of panchromatic spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for 7 M and 4 K dwarf stars that span X-ray to infrared wavelengths (5 Å -5.5 μm). These SEDs are composites of Chandra or XMM-Newton data from 5-∼50 Å, a plasma emission model from ∼50-100 Å, broadband empirical estimates from 100-1170 Å, Hubble Space Telescope data from 1170-5700 Å, including a reconstruction of stellar Lyα emission at 1215.67 Å, and a PHOENIX model spectrum from 5700-55000 Å. Using these SEDs, we computed the photodissociation rates of several molecules prevalent in planetary atmospheres when exposed to each star's unattenuated flux ("unshielded" photodissociation rates) and found that rates differ among stars by over an order of magnitude for most molecules. In general, the same spectral regions drive unshielded photodissociations both for the minimally and maximally FUV active stars. However, for O3 visible flux drives dissociation for the M stars whereas near-UV flux drives dissociation for the K stars. We also searched for an far-UV continuum in the assembled SEDs and detected it in 5/11 stars, where it contributes around 10% of the flux in the range spanned by the continuum bands. An ultraviolet continuum shape is resolved for the star Eri that shows an edge likely attributable to Si ii recombination. The 11 SEDs presented in this paper, available online through the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes, will be valuable for vetting stellar upper-atmosphere emission models and simulating photochemistry in exoplanet atmospheres.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102
    Number of pages19
    JournalAstrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2016


    • Stars: low-mass
    • Ultraviolet: stars
    • X-rays: stars


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