Extended magnetospheres in pre-main-sequence evolution: from T Tauri stars to the brown dwarf limit.
GOMEZ DE CASTRO A.I. and MARCOS-ARENAL P.
Abstract (from CDS):
Low-mass pre-main-sequence stars, i.e., T Tauri stars (TTSs), strongly radiate at high energies, from X-rays to the ultraviolet (UV). This excess radiation with respect to main-sequence cool stars (MSCSs) is associated with the accretion process, i.e., it is produced in the extended magnetospheres, in the accretion shocks on the stellar surface, and in the outflows. Although evidence of accretion shocks and outflow contribution to the high-energy excess have been recently addressed, there is not an updated revision of the magnetospheric contribution. This article addresses this issue. The UV observations of the TTSs in the well-known Taurus region have been analyzed together with the XMM-Newton observations compiled in the XEST survey. For the first time the high sensitivity of the Hubble Space Telescope UV instrumentation has allowed measurement of the UV line fluxes of TTSs to M8 type. UV- and X-ray-normalized fluxes have been determined to study the extent and properties of the TTS magnetospheres as a class. They have been compared with the atmospheres of the MSCSs. The main results from this analysis are (1) the normalized fluxes of all the tracers are correlated; this correlation is independent of the broad mass range and the hardness of the X-ray radiation field; (2) the TTS correlations are different than the MSCS correlations; (3) there is a very significant excess emission in O I in the TTSs compared with MSCSs that seems to be caused by recombination radiation from the disk atmosphere after photoionization by extreme UV radiation; the Fe II/Mg II recombination continuum has also been detected in several TTSs and most prominently in AA Tau; and (4) the normalized flux of the UV tracers anticorrelates with the strength of the X-ray flux, i.e., the stronger the X-ray surface flux is, the weaker the observed UV flux. This last behavior is counterintuitive within the framework of stellar dynamo theory and suggests that UV emission can be produced in the extended and dense stellar magnetosphere directly driven by local collisional processes. The brown dwarf 2MASS J12073346-3332539 has been found to follow the same flux-flux relations of the TTSs. Thus, TTS-normalized flux scaling laws seem to be extendable to the brown dwarf limit and can be used for identification/diagnosis purposes. We report the discovery of an inverse correlation between the C IV-normalized flux and the magnetospheric radius derived for stars with known magnetic fields. The normalized C IV flux is found to be ∝exp (- αrmag), with α = 0.5-0.7.