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The X-ray cycle of the solar-like star 61 Cyg A

Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of Jan Robrade and ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).

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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.

For More Information
  • Read the Journal article
  • Detailed description of this image

  • Instrument EPIC MOS
    Observing Mode Full Frame
    Filter Thick
    Band (lo - hi) 0.2 - 2.0 keV
    Field of View 2.20 x 2.60 arcmin
    Detailed Caption 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.

  • Query XSA archive for XMM-Newton data in the field of 61 Cyg
  • Astronomical database entries for 61 Cyg;
  • For unfamiliar terms, visit the XMM-Newton Astronomical Glossary

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XMM-Newton; Europe's X-Ray Observatory
Last update: 09-Oct-2013 by