Forbrich, Jan, Reid, Mark J., Menten, Karl M., Rivilla, Victor M., Wolk, Scott J., Rau, Urvashi, and Chandler, Claire J. 2017. "Extreme Radio Flares and Associated X-Ray Variability from Young Stellar Objects in the Orion Nebula Cluster." The Astrophysical Journal 844:109. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa7aa4
Young stellar objects are known to exhibit strong radio variability on timescales of weeks to months, and a few reports have documented extreme radio flares with at least an order of magnitude change in flux density on timescales of hours to days. However, there have been few constraints on the occurrence rate of such radio flares or on the correlation with pre-main sequence X-ray flares, although such correlations are known for the Sun and nearby active stars. Here we report simultaneous deep VLA radio and Chandra X-ray observations of the Orion Nebula Cluster, targeting hundreds of sources to look for the occurrence rate of extreme radio variability and potential correlation with the most extreme X-ray variability. We identify 13 radio sources with extreme radio variability, with some showing an order of magnitude change in flux density in less than 30 minutes. All of these sources show X-ray emission and variability, but we find clear correlations with extreme radio flaring only on timescales <1 hr. Strong X-ray variability does not predict the extreme radio sources and vice versa. Radio flares thus provide us with a new perspective on high-energy processes in YSOs and the irradiation of their protoplanetary disks. Finally, our results highlight implications for interferometric imaging of sources violating the constant-sky assumption.