AB Dor in '94. I. Hubble Space Telescope Goddard High Resolution Spectrogaph Observations of the Quiescent Chromosphere of an Active Star
We analyze Hubble Space Telescope/Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph spectra of AB Doradus, the prototypical, ultrarapidly rotating K dwarf. We observed chromospheric (Mg II) and transition-region (C II, Si IV, C IV, and N V) lines periodically throughout the stellar rotation period and provide a low-dispersion stellar atlas of 78 emission lines. The quiescent line profiles of the chromospheric and transition-region lines show narrow cores superposed on very broad wings. The broad wings of the Mg II k and h lines and of the transition-region lines can be explained by emission from gas corotating with the star and extending out to near the Keplerian corotation radius (2.8 stellar radii). While this is not a unique solution, it is consistent with previous studies of Hα emission, which are naturally explained by large corotating prominences. We find no evidence for rotational modulation of the emission-line fluxes. The density diagnostics suggest that the transition region is formed at constant pressure, with an electron density of 2-3×1012 cm-3 at a temperature of 3×104 K. The electron pressure is about 100 times larger than that for the quiet Sun. The emission-measure distribution shows a minimum between logT=5 and 5.5. The Mg II line exhibits three interstellar absorption components along the 15 pc line of sight. We identify the lowest velocity component with the G Cloud, but the other components are not identified with any interstellar clouds previously detected from other lines of sight.