The periodic variations of a white-light flare observed with ULTRACAM
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, UK e-mail: M.Mathioudakis@qub.ac.uk
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S3 7RH, UK
3 Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
Accepted: 19 April 2006
High time resolution observations of a white-light flare on the active star EQ PegB show evidence of intensity variations with a period of ≈10 s. The period drifts to longer values during the decay phase of the flare. If the oscillation is interpreted as an impulsively-excited, standing-acoustic wave in a flare loop, the period implies a loop length of ≈3.4 Mm and ≈6.8 Mm for the case of the fundamental mode and the second harmonic, respectively. However, the small loop lengths imply a very high modulation depth making the acoustic interpretation unlikely. A more realistic interpretation may be that of a fast-MHD wave, with the modulation of the emission being due to the magnetic field. Alternatively, the variations could be due to a series of reconnection events. The periodic signature may then arise as a result of the lateral separation of individual flare loops or current sheets with oscillatory dynamics (i.e., periodic reconnection).
Key words: waves / stars: activity / stars: atmospheres / stars: flare / stars: individual: EQ Pegasi
© ESO, 2006