The X-ray emission from Z Canis Majoris during an FUor-like outburst and the detection of its X-ray jet

Astronomy and Astrophysics (Impact Factor: 4.38). 05/2009; 499(2). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200911750


Accretion shocks have been recognized as an important X-ray emission mechanism for pre-main sequence stars, and yet the X-ray properties of FUor outbursts, events that are caused by violent accretion, have been given little attention. We observed the FUor object Z CMa during optical outburst and quiescence with Chandra. No significant changes in X-ray brightness and spectral shape were found, suggesting that the X-ray emission is coronal. The binary nature of Z CMa makes the origin of the X-ray source ambiguous. However, the moderate hydrogen column density derived from our data makes it unlikely that the embedded primary star is the X-ray source. The secondary star, which is the FUor object, is thus responsible for both the X-ray emission and the ongoing accretion outburst, which seem, however, to be unrelated phenomena. The secondary is also known to drive a large outflow and jet, which we detect here for the first time in X-rays. The distance of the X-ray emitting outflow source to the central star is greater than in jets of low-mass stars.

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Available from: Giusi Micela
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    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009
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    ABSTRACT: Abriged version for astroph: The young late-type star V1118 Orionis was in outburst from 2005 to 2006. We followed the outburst with optical and near-infrared photometry; the X-ray emission was further probed with observations taken with XMM-Newton and Chandra during and after the outburst. In addition, we obtained mid-infrared photometry and spectroscopy with Spitzer at the peak of the outburst and in the post-outburst phase. The spectral energy distribution of V1118 Ori varied significantly over the course of the outburst. The optical flux showed the largest variations, most likely due to enhanced emission by a hot spot. The latter dominated the optical and near-infrared emission at the peak of the outburst, while the disk emission dominated in the mid-infrared. The X-ray flux correlated with the optical and infrared fluxes, indicating that accretion affected the magnetically active corona and the stellar magnetosphere. The thermal structure of the corona was variable with some indication of a cooling of the coronal temperature in the early phase of the outburst with a gradual return to normal values. Color-color diagrams in the optical and infrared showed variations during the outburst, with no obvious signature of reddening due to circumstellar matter. Using MC realizations of star+disk+hotspot models to fit the SED in ``quiescence'' and at the peak of the outburst, we determined that the mass accretion rate varied from about 2.5E-7 Msun/yr to 1E-6 Msun/yr; in addition the fractional area of the hotspot increased significantly as well. The multi-wavelength study of the V1118 Ori outburst helped us to understand the variations in spectral energy distributions and demonstrated the interplay between the disk and the stellar magnetosphere in a young, strongly accreting star. Comment: Accepted in A&A, Tables will be published online
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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