Outstanding X-ray emission from the stellar radio pulsar CU Virginis

Robrade, J.; Oskinova, L. M.; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Leto, P.; Trigilio, C.

We present X-ray observations of CU Vir performed with XMM-Newton and Chandra. With Lx = 3 x 10^28 erg/s the source is moderately X-ray bright, but its spectrum is extremely hard compared to other Ap stars. Spectral modelling requires multi-component models with predominant hot plasma at temperatures of about Tx = 25 MK or, alternatively, a nonthermal spectral component. The Chandra observations was performed six years later than the one by XMM-Newton, yet the source has similar X-ray flux and spectrum, suggesting a steady and persistent X-ray emission. To explain its full X-ray properties, a generating mechanism beyond standard explanations like the presence of a low-mass companion or magnetically confined wind-shocks is required. Magnetospheric activity might be present or, as proposed for fast rotating strongly magnetic Bp stars, the X-ray emission of CU Vir is predominantly auroral in nature.

Preprint (robrade-oskinova-2018.pdf, 0.3MB)

Back to publication list