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A deep imaging survey of the Pleiades with ROSATWe have obtained deep ROSAT images of three regions within the Pleiades open cluster. We have detected 317 X-ray sources in these ROSAT Position Sensitive Proportional Counter (PSPC) images, 171 of which we associate with certain or probable members of the Pleiades cluster. We detect nearly all Pleiades members with spectral types later than G0 and within 25 arcminutes of our three field centers where our sensitivity is highest. This has allowed us to derive for the first time the luminosity function for the G, K, amd M dwarfs of an open cluster without the need to use statistical techniques to account for the presence of upper limits in the data sample. Because of our high X-ray detection frequency down to the faint limit of the optical catalog, we suspect that some of our unidentified X-ray sources are previously unknown, very low-mass members of Pleiades. A large fraction of the Pleiades members detected with ROSAT have published rotational velocities. Plots of L(sub X)/L(sub Bol) versus spectroscopic rotational velocity show tightly correlated `saturation' type relations for stars with ((B - V)(sub 0)) greater than or equal to 0.60. For each of several color ranges, X-ray luminosities rise rapidly with increasing rotation rate until c sin i approximately equal to 15 km/sec, and then remains essentially flat for rotation rates up to at least v sin i approximately equal to 100 km/sec. The dispersion in rotation among low-mass stars in the Pleiades is by far the dominant contributor to the dispersion in L(sub X) at a given mass. Only about 35% of the B, A, and early F stars in the Pleiades are detected as X-ray sources in our survey. There is no correlation between X-ray flux and rotation for these stars. The X-ray luminosity function for the early-type Pleiades stars appears to be bimodal -- with only a few exceptions, we either detect these stars at fluxes in the range found for low-mass stars or we derive X-ray limits below the level found for most Pleiades dwarfs. The X-ray spectra for the early-type Pleiades stars detected by ROSAT are indistinguishable from the spectra of the low-mass Pleiades members. We believe that the simplest explanation for this behavior is that the early-type Pleiades stars are not themselves intrinsic X-ray sources and that the X-ray emission actually arises from low-mass companions to these stars.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Stauffer, J. R. (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA United States)
Caillault, J.-P. (Georgia Univ. Athens, GA, United States)
Gagne, M. (Georgia Univ. Athens, GA, United States)
Prosser, C. F. (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA United States)
Hartmann, L. W. (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Volume: 91
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0067-0049
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits