Quiescent and flaring X-ray emission from the nearby M/T dwarf binary SCR 1845-6357

J. Robrade, K. Poppenhaeger, J. H. M. M. Schmitt

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: X-ray emission is an important diagnostics to study magnetic activity in very low mass stars that are presumably fully convective and have an effectively neutral photosphere. Methods: We investigate an XMM-Newton observation of SCR 1845-6357, a nearby, ultracool M 8.5 / T 5.5 dwarf binary. The binary is unresolved in the XMM detectors, but the X-ray emission is very likely from the M 8.5 dwarf. We compare its flaring emission to those of similar very low mass stars and additionally present an XMM observation of the M 8 dwarf VB 10. Results: We detect quasi-quiescent X-ray emission from SCR 1845-6357 at soft X-ray energies in the 0.2-2.0 keV band, as well as a strong flare with a count rate increase of a factor of 30 and a duration of only 10 min. The quasi-quiescent X-ray luminosity of log LX = 26.2 erg/s and the corresponding activity level of log LX/Lbol = -3.8 point to a fairly active star. Coronal temperatures of up to 5 MK and frequent minor variability support this picture. During the flare, which is accompanied by a significant brightening in the near-UV, plasma temperatures of 25-30 MK are observed and an X-ray luminosity of LX = 8 × 1027 erg/s is reached. Conclusions: The source SCR 1845-6357 is a nearby, very low mass star that emits X-rays at detectable levels in quasi-quiescence, implying the existence of a corona. The high activity level, coronal temperatures and the observed large flare point to a rather active star, despite its estimated age of a few Gyr.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Volume513
Issue numberA12
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2010

Keywords

  • stars: activity
  • stars: coronae
  • stars: individual: SCR 1845-6357
  • stars: low-mass
  • brown dwarfs
  • X-rays: stars

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