Instead of seeing X-rays from the corona of the M dwarf in QS Vir, we saw the signal shown in the plot here. Their is a small flare from the M dwarf, but the X-rays are otherwise regularly eclipsed - the emission was mostly coming from the white dwarf, not the M dwarf. These X-rays betray accretion of gas at a very low rate onto the white dwarf surface. But how? The binary is still a tiny bit too wide to allow steady mass transfer. We think that upward chromospheric flows or "spicules" on the M dwarf might reach high enough to fall under the influence of the white dwarf's gravity. Other possibilities include the magnetic syphon flow described in an earlier study, or accretion of a coronal mass ejection. This work was lead by postdoc Marco Matranga and was published in the 2012 March 10 edition of the Astrophysical Journal.
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