An ultraviolet investigation of activity on exoplanet host stars

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42 Scopus citations


Using the far-UV (FUV) and near-UV (NUV) photometry from the NASA Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), we searched for evidence of increased stellar activity due to tidal and/or magnetic star-planet interactions (SPI) in the 272 known FGK planetary hosts observed by GALEX. With the increased sensitivity of GALEX, we are able probe systems with lower activity levels and at larger distances than what has been done to date with X-ray satellites. We compared samples of stars with close-in planets (a < 0.1 AU) to those with far-out planets (a > 0.5 AU) and looked for correlations of excess activity with other system parameters. This statistical investigation found no clear correlations with a, Mp , or Mp /a, in contrast to some X-ray and Ca II studies. However, there is tentative evidence (at a level of 1.8σ) that stars with radial-velocity-(RV)-detected close-in planets are more FUV-active than stars with far-out planets, in agreement with several published X-ray and Ca II results. The case is strengthened to a level of significance to 2.3σ when transit-detected close-in planets are included. This is most likely because the RV-selected sample of stars is significantly less active than the field population of comparable stars, while the transit-selected sample is similarly active. Given the factor of 2-3 scatter in fractional FUV luminosity for a given stellar effective temperature, it is necessary to conduct a time-resolved study of the planet hosts in order to better characterize their UV variability and generate a firmer statistical result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • planet-star interactions
  • planetary systems
  • stars: activity
  • stars: late-type

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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