EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 435, Number 3, June I 2005
Page(s) 1073 - 1085
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041941


A&A 435, 1073-1085 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041941

X-ray properties of active M dwarfs as observed by XMM-Newton

J. Robrade and J. H. M. M. Schmitt

Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
    e-mail: jrobrade@hs.uni-hamburg.de

(Received 2 September 2004 / Accepted 8 February 2005)

Abstract
We present a comparative study of X-ray emission from a sample of active M dwarfs with spectral types using XMM-Newton observations of two single stars, AD Leonis and EV Lacertae, and two unresolved binary systems, AT Microscopii and EQ Pegasi. The light curves reveal frequent flaring during all four observations. We perform a uniform spectral analysis and determine plasma temperatures, abundances and emission measures in different states of activity. Applying multi-temperature models with variable abundances separately to data obtained with the EPIC and RGS detectors we are able to investigate the consistency of the results obtained by the different instruments onboard XMM-Newton. We find that the X-ray properties of the sample M dwarfs are very similar, with the coronal abundances of all sample stars following a trend of increasing abundance with increasing first ionization potential, the inverse FIP effect. The overall metallicities are below solar photospheric ones but appear consistent with the measured photospheric abundances of M dwarfs like these. A significant increase in the prominence of the hotter plasma components is observed during flares while the cool plasma component is only marginally affected by flaring, pointing to different coronal structures. AT Mic, probably a young pre-main-sequence system, has the highest X-ray luminosity and exhibits also the hottest corona. While results of EQ Peg and EV Lac are presented here for the first time, AT Mic and AD Leo have been investigated before with different analysis approaches, allowing a comparison of the results.


Key words: stars: activity -- stars: coronae -- stars: flare -- stars: late-type -- X-rays: stars

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