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Image courtesy of Jan Robrade and ESA.
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About this Image
The image shows two XMM-Newton MOS1 exposures of 61 Cyg A/B to highlight the brightness variations during the X-ray cycle of the solar-like star 61 Cyg A. Observations were performed in 2006 (left) and 2009 (right) at about activity minimum and maximum of 61 Cyg A; the exposure times are similar and the color scale uses an identical linear brightness scaling.
Investigator(s): Robrade, J., Schmitt, J.H.M.M., Favata, F.
The 61 Cyg system is a nearby visual K dwarf binary at a distance of 3.5 pc, consisting of a K5V (A) and K7V (B) star. It is part of an XMM-Newton monitoring program that studies the X-ray emission from weakly active solar-type stars to search for stellar X-ray cycles analog to the 11-year activity cycle of the Sun. 61 Cyg A shows a smooth and persistent coronal activity cycle during ten years of XMM-Newton monitoring with a period of about 7.5 years and an X-ray luminosity varying between Lx = 7 x 10^26 erg/s and Lx = 2.1 x 10^27 erg/s. In contrast, 61 Cyg B shows so-far only a weakly declining long-term trend in X-ray brightness. While 61 Cyg A is with an average activity level of about log Lx/Lbol = -5.5 more active than the Sun and the amplitude of its coronal brightness variations in soft X-rays is lower, the spectral changes over its activity cycle are solar-like, i.e. variations are more dominant in respective hotter plasma components.
Higher resolution versions of this image may be available, please contact the XMM-Newton HelpDesk.
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