Volume 370, Number 3, May II 2001
|Page(s)||1000 - 1003|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||15 May 2001|
Coherent cyclotron maser radiation from UV Ceti
Space Science & Technology Department, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton OX11 0QX, UK
2 Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland G1 1XQ, UK
3 School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland KY16 9SS, UK
Corresponding author: R. Bingham, R.Bingham@rl.ac.uk
Accepted: 22 February 2001
Recent images in the radio of UV Ceti show two intense emission regions above the magnetic poles of the star. The emission is overwhelmingly right hand circularly polarized with 100% right hand polarization at 3 cm and 6 cm wavelengths during flares. This high degree of polarization rules out gyrosynchrotron emission. In this article we propose that such emission can be produced by a coherent cyclotron maser driven by field aligned electrons moving into an increasing magnetic field. Conservation of the first adiabatic invariant causes the electron beam to increase its pitch angle. This produces a broad region on the distribution function and the possibility of producing a positive slope in the perpendicular velocity space. Such distribution functions are common in magnetic mirror type geometries and are possible sources of free energy leading to electromagnetic emission by a cyclotron maser instability mechanism.
Key words: physical processes: polarization / physical processes: radiation mechanisms: non-thermal / stars: flare / stars: magnetic fields
© ESO, 2001
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