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AK SCO, first detection of a highly disturbed atmosphere in a pre-main-sequence close binary

Gómez de Castro, Ana Inés (2009) AK SCO, first detection of a highly disturbed atmosphere in a pre-main-sequence close binary. Astrophysical journal letters, 698 (2). L108-L111. ISSN 2041-8205

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Abstract

AK Sco is a unique source: a similar to 10 Myr old pre-main-sequence (PMS) spectroscopic binary composed of two nearly equal F5 stars that at periastron are separated by barely 11 stellar radii, so the stellar magnetospheres fill the Roche lobe at periastron. The orbit is not yet circularized (e = 0.47) and very strong tides are expected. This makes AK Sco the ideal laboratory to study the effect of gravitational tides in the stellar magnetic field building up during PMS evolution. In this Letter, the detection of a highly disturbed (sigma similar or equal to 100 km s(-1)) and very dense atmosphere (n(e) = 1.6 x 10(10) cm(-3)) is reported. Significant line broadening blurs any signs of ion belts or bow shocks in the spectrum of the atmospheric plasma. The radiative losses cannot be accounted for solely by the dissipation of energy from the tidal wave propagating in the stellar atmosphere or by the accreting material. The release of internal energy from the star seems to be the most likely source of the plasma heating. This is the first clear indication of a highly disturbed atmosphere surrounding a PMS close binary.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:X-ray; stars; Scorpii; binaries: spectroscopic; stars: magnetic fields; stars: pre-main sequence
Subjects:Sciences > Mathematics > Astronomy
ID Code:15917
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Deposited On:17 Jul 2012 09:10
Last Modified:06 Feb 2014 10:34

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