Statistics of superimposed flares in the Taurus molecular cloud*
Paul Scherrer Institut, CH 5232 Villigen, Switzerland e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, 550 West 120th St., MC 5247, New York, NY 10027, USA
Accepted: 19 February 2007
Context.Stochastically occurring flares provide a possible mechanism of coronal heating in magnetically active stars such as T Tauri objects in star-forming regions.
Aims.We investigate the statistics of stellar X-ray light curves from the XMM-Newton Extended Survey of the Taurus Molecular Cloud (XEST).
Methods.To this end, the light curve is modeled as superimposed flares occurring at random times and with random amplitudes. The flare shape is estimated non-parametrically from the observations, while the flare amplitude distribution is modeled as a truncated power law, and the flare times are assumed as uniformly distributed. From these model assumptions, predictions on the binned counts are derived and compared with the observations.
Results.From a sample of 22 XEST observations matching the above model assumptions we find that the majority of cases have flare amplitude distributions with slopes steeper than two. This favours the role of small flares in coronal heating for 5 targets, of which, however, 4 are foreground or background main-sequence stars.
Key words: methods: statistical / stars: coronae / stars: pre-main sequence / X-rays: stars
© ESO, 2007