Letter to the Editor
Coronal stripping in supersaturated stars
School of Physics and Astronomy, North Haugh, St. Andrews KY16 9SS, Scotland, UK
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 5 December 2003
A recent unambiguous detection of X-ray rotational modulation of the supersaturated star VXR45 ( days) has shown that its corona has discrete dark and bright X-ray regions. We suggest that due to the rapid rotation, the X-ray emitting corona has been centrifugally stripped away, creating open field regions that are dark in X-rays. This leads naturally both to a significant rotational modulation in X-rays but also to the lower X-ray luminosity of supersaturated stars compared to those rotating more slowly. To demonstrate the effect, we take as an example a more slowly rotating star for which surface magnetograms are available. We extrapolate the potential coronal magnetic field based on these magnetograms and determine for a hydrostatic, isothermal atmosphere the structure of the density and of the optically-thin X-ray emission. We show that if the rotation rate of this star were increased, the magnitude of the X-ray luminosity would decrease while its rotational modulation would increase in a way that is consistent with the recent observations of VXR45.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: coronae / stars: late-type / stars: magnetic fields / stars: rotation / X-ray: stars
© ESO, 2004