Giant white-light flares on fully convective stars occur at high latitudes

Ilin, Ekaterina; Poppenhaeger, Katja; Schmidt, Sarah Jane; Järvinen, Silva P.; Newton, Elisabeth R.; Alvarado-Gómez, Julián D.; Pineda, J. Sebastian; Davenport, James R. A.; Oshagh, Mahmoudreza; Ilyin, Ilya
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Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun

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In a <strong>systematic analysis of fully convective stars observed with TESS</strong>, we detected four stars that displayed giant <strong>flares that were modulated in brightness by the stars' rapid rotation</strong>. The morphology of the modulation allowed us to directly <strong>localize these flares between </strong><strong>55°</strong><strong> and </strong><strong>81°</strong><strong> latitude on the stellar surface</strong>, far higher than typical solar flare latitudes. These findings are <strong>a.</strong> evidence that strong magnetic fields tend to emerge close to the stellar rotational poles for fully convective stars, and <strong>b.</strong> suggest that the impact of flares on the habitability of exoplanets around small stars could be weaker than previously thought.