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X-raying the beating heart of a newborn star: Rotational modulation of high-energy radiation from V1647 Ori

X-raying the beating heart of a newborn star: Rotational modulation of high-energy radiation from V1647 Ori

Publication date: 21 July 2012

Authors: Hamaguchi, K., et al.

Journal: The Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 754
Issue: 1
Page: 32
Year: 2012

Copyright: The American Astronomical Society

We report a periodicity of ~1 day in the highly elevated X-ray emission from the protostar V1647 Ori during its two recent multiple-year outbursts of mass accretion. This periodicity is indicative of protostellar rotation at near-break-up speed. Modeling of the phased X-ray light curve indicates that the high-temperature (~50 MK), X-ray-emitting plasma, which is most likely heated by accretion-induced magnetic reconnection, resides in dense ( >~5 × 1010 cm-3), pancake-shaped magnetic footprints where the accretion stream feeds the newborn star. The sustained X-ray periodicity of V1647 Ori demonstrates that such protostellar magnetospheric accretion configurations can be stable over timescales of years.

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