XMM-Newton X-ray observations of LkCa 15: a T Tauri star with a formative planetary system.
SKINNER S.L. and GUDEL M.
Abstract (from CDS):
High-resolution ground-based images of the T Tauri star LkCa 15 have revealed multiple companions that are thought to comprise a formative planetary system. The candidate protoplanets orbit at distances of ∼15-20 au within the dust-depleted inner region of the circumstellar disk. Because of its young age (∼1-4 Myr), LkCa 15 provides a benchmark system for testing planet-formation models. We detected LkCa 15 as a bright X-ray source in a short 10 ks Chandra observation in 2009. We report here new results obtained from a deeper 37 ks XMM-Newton observation in 2014. The new data provide better sampling in the time domain and improved sensitivity at low energies below 1 keV. Spectral fits with thermal emission models require at least two temperature components at kTcool ≃ 0.4 keV and kThot ≃ 2.2 keV. The value of kThot is about a factor of two less than inferred from Chandra, suggesting that the hot-component temperature is variable. The best-fit absorption column density is in good agreement with that expected from optical extinction estimates AV ≃ 1.3-1.7 mag. The intrinsic X-ray luminosity is Lx(0.2-10 keV) = 3 x 1030 erg s–1. Estimates of the X-ray heating rate of the inner disk and protoplanets are sensitive to the assumed disk gas surface density for which recent ALMA observations give estimates Σ0,gas ∼102 g cm–2 at 1 au from the star. At such densities, X-ray heating is confined mainly to the upper disk layers and X-ray penetration through the disk midplane to the protoplanets at r ≃ 15-20 au is negligible.