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In my master I will complete two different master research projects (MRP) over a period of 2 years. I have finished my first one and am currently working on my second project.

1st MRP: The Flare is There: Flaring M-dwarfs in MASCARA

M-dwarfs are small, cool and generally have a high activity. They are also most likely to be hosts of rocky exoplanets. Since these planets are often located in the habitable zone, which is relatively close to the star, flares are able to severely impact an exoplanet's atmostphere. Knowing how often flares occur is crucial to evaluate a planet's habitability. We analyzed the occurrence rate of flares on Proxima Centauri, our closest neighbour and a M-type star, using the observational data produced by mascara. In the period of 16 November 2017 until 31 December 2018, we detected 2 flares. The peak flux of the first flare was 4.3 times as much as the star's quiescent flux, and 4.0 times as much for the second flare. Based on the number of observation hours, approximately 14 flares a year are expected to occur on Proxima Centauri.

Lightcurve of Proxima Centauri in the night of March 2nd 2018. The giant peak near the end of the night is a flare.

2nd MRP: Improve the automated creation of radio source catalogues.

I will make use of convolutional neural networks to identify and classify radio sources.