skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Burn out or fade away? On the X-ray and magnetic death of intermediate mass stars

The nature of the mechanisms apparently driving X-rays from intermediate mass stars lacking strong convection zones or massive winds remains poorly understood, and the possible role of hidden, lower mass close companions is still unclear. A 20 ks Chandra HRC-I observation of HR 4796A, an 8 Myr old main sequence A0 star devoid of close stellar companions, has been used to search for a signature or remnant of magnetic activity from the Herbig Ae phase. X-rays were not detected and the X-ray luminosity upper limit was L{sub X} ≤ 1.3 × 10{sup 27} erg s{sup –1}. The result is discussed in the context of various scenarios for generating magnetic activity, including rotational shear and subsurface convection. A dynamo driven by natal differential rotation is unlikely to produce observable X rays, chiefly because of the difficulty in getting the dissipated energy up to the surface of the star. A subsurface convection layer produced by the ionization of helium could host a dynamo that should be effective throughout the main sequence but can only produce X-ray luminosities of the order 10{sup 25} erg s{sup –1}. This luminosity lies only moderately below the current detection limit for Vega. Our study supports the ideamore » that X-ray production in Herbig Ae/Be stars is linked largely to the accretion process rather than the properties of the underlying star, and that early A stars generally decline in X-ray luminosity at least 100,000 fold in only a few million years.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, MS-3, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  2. Argelander Institut für Astronomie, Auf dem Hügel 71, D-53121 Bonn (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356946
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 786; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CONVECTION; HELIUM; LAYERS; LUMINOSITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; ROTATION; SENSITIVITY; SUN; SURFACES; X RADIATION