The Neupert Effect in Active Stellar Coronae: Chromospheric Evaporation and Coronal Heating in the dMe Flare Star Binary UV Ceti
Evidence for coronal heating by chromospheric evaporation in flares of active dMe stars is presented through observations of the Neupert effect in high-frequency microwaves and soft X-rays. The Neupert effect, as originally found in solar flares, manifests itself in a close similarity between the soft X-ray light curve and the time integral of the simultaneous microwave light curve. It is interpreted as the signature of the accumulation of hot plasma due to heating by accelerated electrons in the chromosphere.We used the ROSAT and ASCA soft X-ray observatories and the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope (at 6 cm and 3.6 cm wavelengths) to monitor simultaneously the nearby dMe flare star binary Gliese 65 A + B = UV Ceti during 9 hours on each of two consecutive days. We find several weakly polarized radio events that start contemporaneously (within a few minutes) with X-ray flares and then peak and decay as the X-ray flares develop gradually. A striking similarity to the temporal evolution of solar gradual events is found. We argue that the Neupert effect is best observed in relatively hard bands of the soft X-ray emission, but that its presence can be inferred from the much softer bands commonly used for stellar observations by use of the solar analogy. Together with spectral hardness observations of soft X-rays, the data suggest the operation of chromospheric evaporation on UV Cet. The observations thus indicate a causal relation between the nonthermal and thermal energies of the underlying electron populations. We find that stellar flares are, relative to solar flares, X-ray-weak. The ratio between the total energy radiated into the radio and the soft X-ray bands closely matches the corresponding ratio between the quiescent luminosities of active stars, perhaps implying similar mechanisms and similar efficiencies for the quiescent emission and for larger, single flares. Estimating the total kinetic energy in the electrons from the radio flux, we find that only a part is observed in soft X-rays, a discrepancy well known from solar flares.