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  1. Abstract

    Tight binary or multiple-star systems can interact through mass transfer and follow vastly different evolutionary pathways than single stars. The star TYC 2597-735-1 is a candidate for a recent stellar merger remnant resulting from a coalescence of a low-mass companion with a primary star a few thousand years ago. This violent event is evident in a conical outflow (“Blue Ring Nebula”) emitting in UV light and surrounded by leading shock filaments observed in Hαand UV emission. From Chandra data, we report the detection of X-ray emission from the location of TYC 2597-735-1 with a luminositylog(LX/Lbol)=5.5. Together with a previously reported period of ~14 days, this indicates ongoing stellar activity and the presence of strong magnetic fields on TYC 2597-735-1. Supported by stellar evolution models of merger remnants, we interpret the inferred stellar magnetic field as dynamo action associated with a newly formed convection zone in the atmosphere of TYC 2597-735-1, though internal shocks at the base of an accretion-powered jet cannot be ruled out. We speculate that this object will evolve into an FK Com–type source, i.e., a class of rapidly spinning magnetically active stars for which a merger origin has beenmore »proposed but for which no relic accretion or large-scale nebula remains visible. We also detect likely X-ray emission from two small regions close to the outer shock fronts in the Blue Ring Nebula, which may arise from inhomogeneities either in the circumstellar medium or in the mass and velocity distribution in the merger-driven outflow.

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  2. Chromospheric Ca II activity cycles are frequently found in late-type stars, but no systematic programs have been created to search for their coronal X-ray counterparts. The typical time scale of Ca II activity cycles ranges from years to decades. Therefore, long-lasting missions are needed to detect the coronal counterparts. The XMM-Newton satellite has so far detected X-ray cycles in five stars. A particularly intriguing question is at what age (and at what activity level) X-ray cycles set in. To this end, in 2015 we started the X-ray monitoring of the young solar-like star ɛ Eridani, previously observed on two occasions: in 2003 and in early 2015, both by XMM-Newton . With an age of 440 Myr, it is one of the youngest solar-like stars with a known chromospheric Ca II cycle. We collected the most recent Mount Wilson S-index data available for ɛ Eridani, starting from 2002, including previously unpublished data. We found that the Ca II cycle lasts 2.92 ± 0.02 yr, in agreement with past results. From the long-term XMM-Newton lightcurve, we find clear and systematic X-ray variability of our target, consistent with the chromospheric Ca II cycle. The average X-ray luminosity is 2 × 10 28 ergmore »s −1 , with an amplitude that is only a factor of 2 throughout the cycle. We apply a new method to describe the evolution of the coronal emission measure distribution of ɛ Eridani in terms of solar magnetic structures: active regions, cores of active regions, and flares covering the stellar surface at varying filling fractions. Combinations of these three types of magnetic structures can only describe the observed X-ray emission measure of ɛ Eridani if the solar flare emission measure distribution is restricted to events in the decay phase. The interpretation is that flares in the corona of ɛ Eridani last longer than their solar counterparts. We ascribe this to the lower metallicity of ɛ Eridani. Our analysis also revealed that the X-ray cycle of ɛ Eridani is strongly dominated by cores of active regions. The coverage fraction of cores throughout the cycle changes by the same factor as the X-ray luminosity. The maxima of the cycle are characterized by a high percentage of covering fraction of the flares, consistent with the fact that flaring events are seen in the corresponding short-term X-ray lightcurves predominately at the cycle maxima. The high X-ray emission throughout the cycle of ɛ Eridani is thus explained by the high percentage of magnetic structures on its surface.« less