Stellar Coronae

Stellar coronae are hot ionized plasmas in the outer atmospheres of most stars. X-ray spectra that are being obtained by the Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories allow us to determine the thermal structure, densities, and dynamics of stellar coronae. We have analyzed Chandra spectra of late-type stars (stars with convective zones like the Sun) to infer these properties and to determine the roles played by magnetic fields in stellar coronae. The figure above shows Chandra spectrum of the dM1e dwarf star AU Microscopii with the important emission lines marked. The top panel is from the Medium Energy Grating (MEG) and the bottom panel is from the High Energy Grating (HEG). Analysis of the line fluxes leads to the emission measure distribution, electron densities, and a model for the coronal plasma of the star.

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