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Proceedings Paper

Quantitative analysis of coronal x-ray spectra at high resolution
Author(s): Nancy S. Brickhouse
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Paper Abstract

We use Chandra observations to illustrate the x-ray spectral resolution and throughput required to probe the physical processes in stellar coronae. With today's capability, we are in a strong position to quantify the physical conditiosn for a number of stellar systems. The future holds the promise of dynamical studies to test the physical processes in the corona. Diagnostic studies include measurements of electron densities in cool star atmospheres. Published measurements of electron densities from Chandra and XMM-Newton in the brightest stellar coronae disagree by more than an order of magnitude. We show that reconciling these measurements requires detailed treatment of weak satellite spectra and other line blending. While these studies provide a sobering view of electron density measurements, they also provide a strong indication of what can be learned in the future when we combine high spectral resolution with high signal-to-noise. Dynamic studies using Chandra HETG Doppler shifts are so far only reported for the most rapidly rotating cool stars. These new measurements are somewhat compromised by the presence of continuum and weak line blends, and are near the statistical limit. Nevertheless, they can provide a realistic test of the spectral synthesis such that the location(s) of coronal loops can be compared to the photospheric Doppler images. Examples of what can be learned from dynamic studies are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 March 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4851, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy, (11 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.461418
Show Author Affiliations
Nancy S. Brickhouse, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4851:
X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Telescopes and Instruments for Astronomy
Joachim E. Truemper; Harvey D. Tananbaum, Editor(s)

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