Detection of a weak surface magnetic field on Sirius A: are all tepid stars magnetic ?

Дата и время публикации : 2011-06-27T11:17:30Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
P. Petit
F. Lignières
M. Aurière
G. A. Wade
D. Alina
J. Ballot
T. Böhm
L. Jouve
A. Oza
F. Paletou
S. Théado

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: Accepted by Astronomy and Astrophysics
Первичная категория: astro-ph.SR

Все категории : astro-ph.SR

Краткий обзор статьи: We aim at a highly sensitive search for weak magnetic fields in main sequence stars of intermediate mass, by scanning classes of stars with no previously reported magnetic members. After detecting a weak magnetic field on the normal, rapidly rotating A-type star Vega, we concentrate here on the bright star Sirius A, taken as a prototypical, chemically peculiar, moderately rotating Am star. We employed the NARVAL and ESPaDOnS high-resolution spectropolarimeters to collect 442 circularly polarized spectra, complemented by 60 linearly polarized spectra. Using a list of about 1,100 photospheric spectral lines, we computed a cross correlation line profile from every spectrum, leading to a signal-to-noise ratio of up to 30,000 in the polarized profile. We report the repeated detection of circularly polarized, highly asymmetric signatures in the line profiles, interpreted as Zeeman signatures of a large-scale photospheric magnetic field, with a line-of-sight component equal to $0.2 pm 0.1$ G. This is the first polarimetric detection of a surface magnetic field on an Am star. Using rough estimates of the physical properties of the upper layers of Sirius A, we suggest that a dynamo operating in the shallow convective envelope cannot account for the field strength reported here. Together with the magnetic field of Vega, this result confirms that a new class of magnetic objects exists among non Ap/Bp intermediate-mass stars, and it may indicate that a significant fraction of tepid stars are magnetic.

Category: Physics