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Low-frequency monitoring of flare star binary CR Draconis: long-term electron-cyclotron maser emission

Abstract : Recently detected coherent low-frequency radio emission from M dwarf systems shares phenomenological similarities with emission produced by magnetospheric processes from the gas giant planets of our Solar System. Such beamed electron-cyclotron maser emission can be driven by a star-planet interaction or a breakdown in co-rotation between a rotating plasma disk and a stellar magnetosphere. Both models suggest that the radio emission could be periodic. Here we present the longest low-frequency interferometric monitoring campaign of an M dwarf system, composed of twenty-one ≈8 h epochs taken in two series of observing blocks separated by a year. We achieved a total on-source time of 6.5 days. We show that the M dwarf binary CR Draconis has a low-frequency 3 σ detection rate of 90 −8 +5 % when a noise floor of ≈0.1 mJy is reached, with a median flux density of 0.92 mJy, consistent circularly polarised handedness, and a median circularly polarised fraction of 66%. We resolve three bright radio bursts in dynamic spectra, revealing the brightest is elliptically polarised, confined to 4 MHz of bandwidth centred on 170 MHz, and reaches a flux density of 205 mJy. The burst structure is mottled, indicating it consists of unresolved sub-bursts. Such a structure shares a striking resemblance with the low-frequency emission from Jupiter. We suggest the near-constant detection of high brightness temperature, highly-circularly-polarised radiation that has a consistent circular polarisation handedness implies the emission is produced via the electron-cyclotron maser instability. Optical photometric data reveal the system has a rotation period of 1.984 ± 0.003 days. We observe no periodicity in the radio data, but the sampling of our radio observations produces a window function that would hide the near two-day signal.
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https://hal-univ-paris.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03256523
Contributor : Equipe Hal Université de Paris <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 11:54:10 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 3:29:40 AM

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J. Callingham, B. Pope, A. Feinstein, H. Vedantham, T. Shimwell, et al.. Low-frequency monitoring of flare star binary CR Draconis: long-term electron-cyclotron maser emission. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2021, 648, pp.A13. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202039144⟩. ⟨hal-03256523⟩

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