Tuesday, May 7, 2013

1305.1132 (J. Sanz-Forcada et al.)

iota Horologi, the first coronal activity cycle in a young solar-like star    [PDF]

J. Sanz-Forcada, B. Stelzer, T. S. Metcalfe
Context: The shortest chromospheric (Ca II H&K) activity cycle (1.6 yr) has been recently discovered in the young (~600 Myr) solar-like star iota Hor. Coronal X-ray activity cycles have only been discovered in a few stars other than the Sun, all of them with an older age and a lower activity level than iota Hor. Aims: We intended to find the X-ray coronal counterpart of the chromospheric cycle for i Hor. This represents the first X-ray cycle observed in an active star, as well as the paradigm of the first coronal cycles in the life of a solar-like star. Methods: We monitored i Hor with XMM-Newton observations spanning almost two years. The spectra of each observation are fit with two-temperature coronal models to study the long-term variability of the star. Results: We find a cyclic behavior in X-rays very similar to the contemporaneous chromospheric cycle. The continuous chromospheric monitoring for more than three cycle lengths shows a trend toward decreasing amplitude, apparently modulated by a longer term trend. The second cycle is disrupted prior to reaching its maximum, followed by a brief episode of chaotic variability before the cyclic behavior resumes, only to be disrupted again after slightly more than one cycle. Conclusions: We confirm the presence of an activity cycle of ~1.6 yr in i Hor both in X-rays and Ca II H&K. It is likely subject to the modulation of a longer, not yet constrained second cycle. The 1.6 yr cycle is the shortest coronal one observed to date, and i Hor represents the most active star for which a coronal activity cycle has been found. This cycle is probably representative of the first coronal cycles in the life of a solar-like star, at the age when life started on Earth.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.1132

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