Steady and transient radio emission from ultracool dwarfs.
OSTEN R.A., PHAN-BAO N., HAWLEY S.L., REID I.N. and OJHA R.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the results of multi-frequency radio observing campaigns designed to elucidate the nature of radio emission from very low mass stars. We detect radio emission in an additional two epochs of the ultracool dwarf binary LP 349-25, finding that the observed emission is broad band and steady on timescales between 10 s and 10.7 hr, as well as on timescales of 0.6 and 1.6 years. This system is unusual for ultracool dwarfs with detectable radio emission, in exhibiting a lack of any large-scale variability, particularly the bursting (periodic or aperiodic) behavior exhibited by the other objects with detectable levels of radio emission. We explore the constraints that the lack of variability on long- and short-timescales, and flat spectral index, imply about the radio-emitting structures and mechanism. The temporal constraints argue for a high latitude emitting region with a large inclination so that it is always in view, and survives for at least 0.6 years. Temporal constraints also limit the plasma conditions, implying that the electron density be ne< 4x105/cm3 and B< 130 G in order not to see time variations due to collisional or radiative losses from high-energy particles. The observations and constraints provided by them are most compatible with a nonthermal radio emission mechanism, likely gyrosynchrotron emission from a spatially homogeneous or inhomogeneous source. This indicates that, similar to behaviors noted for chromospheric, transition region, and coronal plasmas in ultracool dwarfs, the magnetic activity patterns observed in active higher mass stars can survive to the substellar boundary. We also present new epochs of multi-frequency radio observations for the ultracool dwarfs 2MASS 05233822-140322 and 2MASS14563831-2809473(=LHS 3003); each has been detected in at least one previous epoch but are not detected in the epochs reported here. The results here suggest that magnetic configurations in ultracool dwarfs can be long-lasting, and support the need for further radio monitoring using a simultaneous, multi-frequency observing approach.