Teets, W.K.; Weintraub, D.A.; Grosso, N.; Principe, D.; Kastner, J.H.; Hamaguchi, K.; Richmond, M., X-Ray Production by V1647 Ori during Optical Outbursts, Astrophysical Journal, 741, 2, pp. 83- (2011) [BibTeX]
Keywords: star formation x-ray astronomy
The pre-main-sequence (PMS) star V1647 Ori has recently undergone two optical/near-infrared (OIR) outbursts that are associated with dramatic enhancements in the stellar accretion rate. Our intensive X-ray monitoring of this object affords the opportunity to investigate whether and how the intense X-ray emission is related to PMS accretion activity. Our analysis of all 14 Chandra X-Ray Observatory observations of V1647 Ori demonstrates that variations in the X-ray luminosity of V1647 Ori are correlated with similar changes in the OIR brightness of this source during both (2003-2005 and 2008) eruptions, strongly supporting the hypothesis that accretion is the primary generation mechanism for the X-ray outbursts. Furthermore, the Chandra monitoring demonstrates that the X-ray spectral properties of the second eruption were strikingly similar to those of the 2003 eruption. We find that X-ray spectra obtained immediately following the second outburst—during which V1647 Ori exhibited high X-ray luminosities, high hardness ratios, and strong X-ray variability—are well modeled as a heavily absorbed (N H ~ 4 × 1022 cm–2), single-component plasma with characteristic temperatures (kT X ~ 2-6 keV) that are consistently too high to be generated via accretion shocks but are in the range expected for plasma heated by magnetic reconnection events. We also find that the X-ray absorbing column has not changed significantly throughout the observing campaign. Since the OIR and X-ray changes are correlated, we hypothesize that these reconnection events either occur in the accretion stream connecting the circumstellar disk to the star or in accretion-enhanced protostellar coronal activity.
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