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Accretion-powered chromospheres in classical T Tauri stars
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
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2011 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 535, A6- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Optical spectra of classical T Tauri stars (cTTS) are rich in emission lines of low-excitation species that are composed of narrow and broad components, related to two regions with different kinematics, densities, and temperatures. The photospheric spectrum is often veiled by an excess continuous emission. This veiling is usually attributed to radiation from a heated region beneath the accretion shock. The aim of this research is to clarify the nature of the veiling, and whether the narrow chromospheric lines of Fe I and other metals represent a standard chromosphere of a late-type star, or are induced by mass accretion. From high-resolution spectroscopy of DR Tauri we found that the amount of veiling in this star varies from practically nothing to factors more than 10 times the stellar continuum intensity, and that the veiling is caused by both a non-photospheric continuum and chromospheric line emission filling in the photospheric absorption lines. This effect can be shown to exist in several other T Tauri stars. We conclude that enhanced chromospheric emission in cTTS is linked not only to solar-like magnetic activity, but is powered to a greater extent by the accreting gas. We suggest that the area of enhanced chromospheric emission is induced by mass accretion, which modifies the local structure of stellar atmosphere in an area that is more extended than the hot accretion spot. The narrow emission lines from this extended area are responsible for the extra component in the veiling through line-filling of photospheric absorption lines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 535, A6- p.
Keyword [en]
stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be, stars: individual: DR Tau, stars: individual: S CrA; stars: individual: RW Aur, stars: individual: RU Lup, stars: individual: DI Cep
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69356DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201116721ISI: 000297841200018OAI: diva2:476263
Available from: 2012-01-11 Created: 2012-01-11 Last updated: 2012-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Gahm, Gösta F.
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