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Title: Trends in ultracool dwarf magnetism. I. X-ray suppression and radio enhancement

Although ultracool dwarfs (UCDs) are now known to generate and dissipate strong magnetic fields, a clear understanding of the underlying dynamo is still lacking. We have performed X-ray and radio observations of seven UCDs in a narrow range of spectral type (M6.5-M9.5) but spanning a wide range of projected rotational velocities (vsin i ≈ 3-40 km s{sup –1}). We have also analyzed unpublished archival Chandra observations of four additional objects. All of the newly observed targets are detected in the X-ray, while only one is detected in the radio, with the remainder having sensitive upper limits. We present a database of UCDs with both radio and X-ray measurements and consider the data in light of the so-called Güdel-Benz relation (GBR) between magnetic activity in these bands. Some UCDs have very bright radio emission and faint X-ray emission compared to what would be expected for rapid rotators, while others show the opposite behavior. We show that UCDs would still be radio-overluminous relative to the GBR even if their X-ray emission were at standard rapid-rotator 'saturation' levels. Recent results from Zeeman-Doppler imaging and geodynamo simulations suggest that rapidly rotating UCDs may harbor a bistable dynamo that supports either a stronger, axisymmetric magneticmore » field or a weaker, non-axisymmetric field. We suggest that the data can be explained in a scenario in which strong-field objects obey the GBR while weak-field objects are radio-overluminous and X-ray-underluminous, possibly because of a population of gyrosynchrotron-emitting coronal electrons that is continuously replenished by low-energy reconnection events.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  2. Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357153
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 785; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AXIAL SYMMETRY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; ELECTRONS; EMISSION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETISM; SATURATION; SIMULATION; STARS; VELOCITY; VISIBLE RADIATION; X RADIATION; ZEEMAN EFFECT