X-rays, pre-main sequence stars and planet formation

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The study of magnetic activity of pre-main sequence (PMS) stars through their X-ray emission is entering a mature phase. We review here two recent developments. First, we present some early findings from the Chandra Orion Ultradeep Project (COUP) relating to the age-activity-rotation relations of PMS stars. COUP is a nearly continuous exposure of the Orion Nebula Cluster over 13 days and gives the most comprehensive view to date of X-ray emission from the PMS population. We find that the activity-rotation connection that dominates main sequence activity behavior is absent in PMS stars, although the activity-age relation is present as well as links to stellar mass and volume. Second, we discuss investigations of effects of PMS X-rays on their cold protoplanetary disks. It is possible that the the ionization, heating and spallogenic effects of high energy photons and particles produced in PMS stellar flares have significant effects on disk dynamics, heating and chemistry. X-ray ionization may induce MHD turbulence in the disk which, in turn, may regulate disk evolution and planet formation processes such as Jovian planet migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number560 I
StatePublished - Aug 29 2005
Event13th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems and the Sun - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: Jul 5 2004Jul 9 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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