Context: The activity indicators of M dwarfs are distinctly different for early and late types. The coronae of early M dwarfs display high X-ray luminosities and temperatures, a pronounced inverse FIP effect, and frequent flaring to the extent that no quiescent level can be defined in many cases. For late M dwarfs, fewer but more violent flares have been observed, and the quiescent X-ray luminosity is much lower.
Aims: To probe the relationship between coronal properties with spectral type of active M dwarfs, we analyze the M3.5 and M4.5 components of the EQ Peg binary system in comparison with other active M dwarfs of spectral types M0.5 to M5.5.
Methods: We investigate the timing behavior of both components of the EQ Peg system, reconstruct their differential emission measure, and investigate the coronal abundance ratios based on emission-measure independent line ratios from their Chandra HETGS spectra. Finally we test for density variations in different states of activity.
Results: The X-ray luminosity of EQ Peg A (M3.5) is by a factor of 6-10 brighter than that of EQ Peg B (M4.5). Like most other active M dwarfs, the EQ Peg system shows an inverse FIP effect. The abundances of both components are consistent within the errors; however, there seems to be a tendency toward the inverse FIP effect being less pronounced in the less active EQ Peg B when comparing the quiescent state of the two stars. This trend is supported by our comparison with other M dwarfs.
Conclusions: As the X-ray luminosity decreases with later spectral type, so do coronal temperatures and flare rate. The amplitude of the observed abundance anomalies, i.e. the inverse FIP effect, declines; however, clear deviations from solar abundances remain.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- December 2008
- stars: abundances;
- stars: activity;
- stars: coronae;
- stars: late-type;
- stars: individual: EQ Pegasi;
- X-rays: stars;
- 14 pages, accepted by A&