Thomas Preibisch

X-ray emitting class I protostars in the Serpens dark cloud

Astronomy and Astrophysics, 428, 569-577 (2004)

We analyze a set of three individual XMM X-ray observation of the Serpens dark cloud. In addition to the 45 sources already reported in the analysis of the first of these XMM observations by Preibisch (2003), the complete combined data set leads to the detection of X-ray emission from four of the 19 known class~I protostars in the region. The set of three observations allows us to study the variability of the sources on timescales from minutes to several months. The lightcurves of two of the four X-ray detected class I protostars show evidence for significant variability; the data suggest at least four flare-like events on these objects. This relatively high level of variability in the X-ray emission from the class I protostars is in qualitative agreement with the result by Imanishi et al.~(2001), who found that the class I protostars in the rho Ophiuchi dark cloud show a higher level of variability than that of more evolved class II and class III young stellar objects. This may support non-coronal X-ray emission mechanisms for class I protostars and is in agreement with the predictions of models that assume magnetic interactions between the protostar and its surrounding disk as a source of high-energy emission. We also find a strong variation (by a factor of ~10) in the X-ray luminosity of the class II object EC~74 between the three observations, which may be explained by a long duration flare or by rotational modulation. Finally, we find no evidence for X-ray emission from the five class 0 protostars in the region.

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