Large X-ray Flares on Stars Detected with MAXI/GSC: A Universal Correlation between the Duration of a Flare and its X-ray Luminosity

23 giant flares from 13 active stars (eight RS CVn systems, one Algol system, three dMe stars and one YSO) were detected during the first two years of our all-sky X-ray monitoring with the gas propotional counters (GSC) of the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI). The observed parameters of all of these MAXI/GSC flares are found to be at the upper ends for stellar flares with the luminosity of 10^(31-34) ergs s-1 in the 2-20 keV band, the emission measure of 10^(54-57) cm-3, the e-folding time of 1 hour to 1.5 days, and the total radiative energy released during the flare of 10^(34-39) ergs. Notably, the peak X-ray luminosity of 5(3-9)*10^33 ergs s-1 in the 2-20 keV band was detected in one of the flares on II Peg, which is one of the, or potentially the, largest ever observed in stellar flares. X-ray flares were detected from GT Mus, V841 Cen, SZ Psc, and TWA-7 for the first time in this survey. Whereas most of our detected sources are multiple-star systems, two of them are single stars (YZ CMi and TWA-7). Among the stellar sources within 100 pc distance, the MAXI/GSC sources have larger rotation velocities than the other sources. This suggests that the rapid rotation velocity may play a key role in generating large flares. Combining the X-ray flare data of nearby stars and the sun, taken from literature and our own data, we discovered a universal correlation of tau~L_X^0.2 for the flare duration tau and the intrinsic X-ray luminosity L_X in the 0.1-100 keV band, which holds for 5 and 12 orders of magnitude in tau and L_X, respectively. The MAXI/GSC sample is located at the highest ends on the correlation.

Comments: to be published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan (PASJ)

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