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 XMM-Newton Home > Gallery Home > Stars > Normal Stars > 61 Cyg

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).

The image above can be displayed at full size and may be downloaded by clicking the image above.

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
    Image size 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: 02-Jun-2015 by