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Abstract

Radio astronomy has provided evidence for the presence of ionized atmospheres around almost all classes of nondegenerate stars. Magnetically confined coronae dominate in the cool half of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. Their radio emission is predominantly of nonthermal origin and has been identified as gyrosynchrotron radiation from mildly relativistic electrons, apart from some coherent emission mechanisms. Ionized winds are found in hot stars and in red giants. They are detected through their thermal, optically thick radiation, but synchrotron emission has been found in many systems as well. The latter is emitted presumably by shock-accelerated electrons in weak magnetic fields in the outer wind regions. Radio emission is also frequently detected in pre–main sequence stars and protostars and has recently been discovered in brown dwarfs. This review summarizes the radio view of the atmospheres of nondegenerate stars, focusing on energy release physics in cool coronal stars, wind phenomenology in hot stars and cool giants, and emission observed from young and forming stars.

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One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike—and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

   A. Einstein 1951, in a letter to H. Mühsam, Einstein Archive 36-610

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.astro.40.060401.093806
2002-09-01
2024-06-16
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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