We investigate the properties of X-ray emission from accretion shocks in classical T Tauri stars (CTTSs), generated where the infalling material impacts the stellar surface. Both observations and models of the accretion process reveal several aspects that are still unclear: the observed X-ray luminosity in accretion shocks is below the predicted value, and the density versus temperature structure of the shocked plasma, with increasing densities at higher temperature, deduced from the observations, is at odds with that proposed in the current picture of accretion shocks. To address these open issues, we investigate whether a correct treatment of the local absorption by the surrounding medium is crucial to explain the observations. To this end, we describe the impact of an accretion stream on a CTTS by considering a magnetohydrodynamic model. From the model results, we synthesize the X-ray emission from the accretion shock by producing maps and spectra. We perform density and temperature diagnostics on the synthetic spectra, and we directly compare the results with observations. Our model shows that the X-ray fluxes inferred from the emerging spectra are lower than expected because of the complex local absorption by the optically thick material of the chromosphere and of the unperturbed stream. Moreover, our model, including the effects of local absorption, explains in a natural way the apparently puzzling pattern of density versus temperature observed in the X-ray emission from accretion shocks.
|Numero di pagine||5|
|Rivista||THE ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes