Paul Scherrer Institut, Würenlingen and Villigen, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland e-mail: email@example.com
2 Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Mail Code 5247, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA
3 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, Université Joseph Fourier - CNRS, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex, France
4 Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Penn State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA
5 INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
6 Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Mail Code 220-6, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
7 INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo Enrico Fermi, 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
8 Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche ed Astronomiche, Università di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
9 Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150 Porto, Portugal
10 Departamento de Matemática Aplicada, Faculdade de Ciêcias da Universidade do Porto, 4169 Porto, Portugal
11 CASA, 389, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0389, USA
Accepted: 5 August 2006
Context.The Taurus Molecular Cloud (TMC) is the nearest large star-forming region, prototypical for the distributed mode of low-mass star formation. Pre-main sequence stars are luminous X-ray sources, probably mostly owing to magnetic energy release.
Aims.The XMM-Newton Extended Survey of the Taurus Molecular Cloud (XEST) presented in this paper surveys the most populated ≈5 square degrees of the TMC, using the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory to study the thermal structure, variability, and long-term evolution of hot plasma, to investigate the magnetic dynamo, and to search for new potential members of the association. Many targets are also studied in the optical, and high-resolution X-ray grating spectroscopy has been obtained for selected bright sources.
Methods.The X-ray spectra have been coherently analyzed with two different thermal models (2-component thermal model, and a continuous emission measure distribution model). We present overall correlations with fundamental stellar parameters that were derived from the previous literature. A few detections from Chandra observations have been added.
Results.The present overview paper introduces the project and provides the basic results from the X-ray analysis of all sources detected in the XEST survey. Comprehensive tables summarize the stellar properties of all targets surveyed. The survey goes deeper than previous X-ray surveys of Taurus by about an order of magnitude and for the first time systematically accesses very faint and strongly absorbed TMC objects. We find a detection rate of 85% and 98% for classical and weak-line T Tau stars (CTTS resp. WTTS), and identify about half of the surveyed protostars and brown dwarfs. Overall, 136 out of 169 surveyed stellar systems are detected. We describe an X-ray luminosity vs. mass correlation, discuss the distribution of X-ray-to-bolometric luminosity ratios, and show evidence for lower X-ray luminosities in CTTS compared to WTTS. Detailed analysis (e.g., variability, rotation-activity relations, influence of accretion on X-rays) will be discussed in a series of accompanying papers.
Key words: stars: formation / stars: pre-main sequence / X-rays: stars / gravitational waves
Table 3, Full Tables 4–11 and Appendices A and B are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2007