Letter to the Editor
The X-ray soft excess in classical T Tauri stars
Paul Scherrer Institut, Würenlingen and Villigen, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland e-mail: [guedel;atellesc]@astro.phys.ethz.ch
2 Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 6 September 2007
Aims.We study an anomaly in the X-ray flux (or luminosity) ratio between the O vii 21.6-22.1 triplet and the O viii Lyα line seen in classical T Tauri stars (CTTS). This ratio is unusually high when compared with ratios for main-sequence and non-accreting T Tauri stars (Telleschi et al. 2007c, A&A, 468, 443). We compare these samples to identify the source of the excess. A sample of recently discovered X-ray stars with a soft component attributed to jet emission is also considered.
Methods.We discuss data obtained from the XMM-Newton Extended Survey of the Taurus Molecular Cloud (XEST) project, complemented by data from the published literature. We also present data from the CTTS RU Lup.
Results.All CTTS in the sample show an anomalous O vii/O viii flux ratio when compared with WTTS or MS stars. The anomaly is due to an excess of cool, O vii emitting material rather than a deficiency of hotter plasma. The excess plasma must therefore have temperatures of 2 MK. This soft excess does not correlate with UV excesses of CTTS, but seems to be related to the stellar X-ray luminosity. The spectra of the jet-driving TTS do not fit into this context.
Conclusions.The soft excess depends both on the presence of accretion streams in CTTS and on magnetic activity. The gas may be shock-heated near the surface, although it may also be heated in the magnetospheric accretion funnels. The soft component of the jet-driving sources is unlikely to be due to the same process.
Key words: stars: coronae / stars: formation / stars: pre-main sequence / X-rays: stars
© ESO, 2007