Evidence of a flare ignited above a low-latitude spotted active region in the ultrafast rotator HK Aqr

Martínez González, María Jesús; Asensio Ramos, Andrés; González-Fernández, Carlos; del Pino Alemán, Tanausú; Montes, David; Luna, Manuel; Felipe, Tobías; Esteban Pozuelo, Sara; Leitzinger, Martin
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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We study the magnetic activity in the ultrafast rotator dMe HK Aqr using tomography techniques with high-resolution spectroscopy. We aim to characterize how this magnetic activity appears in a regime of very fast rotation without external forces, given that HK Aqr is, very likely, a single star. We find dark spots located at low latitudes. We also detect prominences below the co-rotation radius and at low latitudes, coinciding with the spot latitudes. This apparent low-latitude activity contrasts with what is typically observed in fast rotators, which tend to form large polar spots. Moreover, we detect a stellar flare that produces an enhancement of the continuum and additional emission in the core of most photospheric and chromospheric lines. We find evidence that the flare is ignited above an active region, as seen in solar flares. This means that, with high probability, the flare is initiated by magnetic reconnection in complex active regions. We also present evidence of bulk redshifted velocities of about 15 km s-1 during the rise of the flare, and velocities of 5-10 km s-1 during the decay phase. An estimation of the heating during the flare results in about 200 kK close to the peak and in 100 kK at the end of the observations.