X-ray Astronomy - X-ray Dark Stars

X-ray Dark Stars

Main article: X-ray dark star See also: Astrophysical X-ray source, Supergiant, and Vega as an X-ray source

During the solar cycle, as shown in the sequence of images at right, at times the Sun is almost X-ray dark, almost an X-ray variable. Betelgeuse, on the other hand, appears to be always X-ray dark. Hardly any X-rays are emitted by red giants. There is a rather abrupt onset of X-ray emission around spectral type A7-F0, with a large range of luminosities developing across spectral class F. Altair is spectral type A7V and Vega is A0V. Altair's total X-ray luminosity is at least an order of magnitude larger than the X-ray luminosity for Vega. The outer convection zone of early F stars is expected to be very shallow and absent in A-type dwarfs, yet the acoustic flux from the interior reaches a maximum for late A and early F stars provoking investigations of magnetic activity in A-type stars along three principal lines. Chemically peculiar stars of spectral type Bp or Ap are appreciable magnetic radio sources, most Bp/Ap stars remain undetected, and of those reported early on as producing X-rays only few of them can be identified as probably single stars. X-ray observations offer the possibility to detect (X-ray dark) planets as they eclipse part of the corona of their parent star while in transit. "Such methods are particularly promising for low-mass stars as a Jupiter-like planet could eclipse a rather significant coronal area."

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