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The Gaia astrometric reference catalogue will provide star proper motions with an accuracy of one mas one century ago for stars of magnitude 14 or brighter. Our project is to re-reduced the old observations with the new catalogue allowing to have an astrometric accuracy only limited by the observational biases and not by reference stars. Then, we plan to get an accuracy of 50 mas where the old reductions were not better than 500 mas!
For our purpose, we will digitize old photographic plates with a sub-micrometric scanner. Tests were made using the UCAC catalogue showing that old photographic plates have an intrinsect accuracy of 30 to 60 mas.
Some magnetic early B-type stars display Hα emission originating in their Centrifugal Magnetospheres (CMs). To determine the rotational and magnetic properties necessary for the onset of emission, we analyzed a large spectropolarimetric dataset for a sample of 51 B5-B0 magnetic stars. New rotational periods were found for 15 stars. We determined physical parameters, dipolar magnetic field strengths, magnetospheric parameters, and magnetic braking timescales. Hα-bright stars are more rapidly rotating, more strongly magnetized, and younger than the overall population. We use the high sensitivity of magnetic braking to the mass-loss rate to test the predictions of Vink et al. (2001) and Krtička (2014) by comparing ages t to maximum spindown ages tS, max. For stars with M* < 10 M⊙ this comparison favours the Krtička recipe. For the most massive stars, both prescriptions yield t ≪ tS, max, a discrepancy which is difficult to explain via incorrect mass-loss rates alone.
Over the last decade, tremendous strides have been achieved in our understanding of magnetism in main sequence hot stars. In particular, the statistical occurrence of their surface magnetism has been established (~10%) and the field origin is now understood to be fossil. However, fundamental questions remain: how do these fossil fields evolve during the post-main sequence phases, and how do they influence the evolution of hot stars from the main sequence to their ultimate demise? Filling the void of known magnetic evolved hot (OBA) stars, studying the evolution of their fossil magnetic fields along stellar evolution, and understanding the impact of these fields on the angular momentum, rotation, mass loss, and evolution of the star itself, is crucial to answering these questions, with far reaching consequences, in particular for the properties of the precursors of supernovae explosions and stellar remnants. In the framework of the BRITE spectropolarimetric survey and LIFE project, we have discovered the first few magnetic hot supergiants. Their longitudinal surface magnetic field is very weak but their configuration resembles those of main sequence hot stars. We present these first observational results and propose to interpret them at first order in the context of magnetic flux conservation as the radius of the star expands with evolution. We then also consider the possible impact of stellar structure changes along evolution.
For several decades we have been cognizant of the presence of magnetic fields in early-type stars, but our understanding of their magnetic properties has recently (over the last decade) expanded due to the new generation of high-resolution spectropolarimeters (ESPaDOnS at CFHT, Narval at TBL, HARPSpol at ESO). The most detailed surface magnetic field maps of intermediate-mass stars have been obtained through Doppler imaging techniques, allowing us to probe the small-scale structure of these stars. Thanks to the effort of large programmes (e.g. the MiMeS project), we have, for the first time, addressed key issues regarding our understanding of the magnetic properties of massive (M > 8 M⊙) stars, whose magnetic fields were only first detected about fifteen years ago. In this proceedings article we review the spectropolarimetric observations and statistics derived in recent years that have formed our general understanding of stellar magnetism in early-type stars. We also discuss how these observations have furthered our understanding of the interactions between the magnetic field and stellar wind, as well as the consequences and connections of this interaction with other observed phenomena.
The UVMag consortium proposed the space mission project Arago to ESA at its M4 call. Arago is dedicated to the study of the dynamic 3D environment of stars and planets. This space mission will be equipped with a high-resolution spectropolarimeter working from 119 to 888 nm. A preliminary optical design of the whole instrument has been prepared and is presented here. The design consists of the telescope, the instrument itself, and the focusing optics. Considering not only the scientific requirements, but also the cost and size constraints to fit an M-size mission, the telescope has a 1.3 m diameter primary mirror and is a classical Cassegrain-type telescope that allows a polarization-free focus. The polarimeter is placed at this Cassegrain focus. This is the key element of the mission and the most challenging one to be designed. The main challenge lies in the huge spectral range offered by the instrument; the polarimeter has to deliver the full Stokes vector with a high precision from the FUV (119 nm) to the NIR (888 nm). The polarimeter module is then followed by a high-resolution echelle-spectrometer achieving a resolution of 35000 in the visible range and 25000 in the UV. The two channels are separated after the echelle grating, allowing specific cross-dispersion and focusing optics for the UV and the visible ranges. Considering the large field of view and the high numerical aperture, the focusing optics for both the UV and the visible channels is a Three-Mirror-Anastigmatic (TMA) telescope, needed to focus the various wavelengths and many orders onto the detectors.
Observations of stable mainly dipolar magnetic fields at the surface of ~7% of single hot stars indicate that these fields are of fossil origin, i.e. they descend from the seed field in the molecular clouds from which the stars were formed. The recent results confirm this theory. First, theoretical work and numerical simulations confirm that the properties of the observed fields correspond to those expected from fossil fields. They also showed that rapid rotation does not modify the surface dipolar magnetic configurations, but hinders the stability of fossil fields. This explains the lack of correlation between the magnetic field properties and stellar properties in massive stars. It may also explain the lack of detections of magnetic fields in Be stars, which rotate close to their break-up velocity. In addition, observations by the BinaMIcS collaboration of hot stars in binary systems show that the fraction of those hosting detectable magnetic fields is much smaller than for single hot stars. This could be related to results obtained in simulations of massive star formation, which show that the stronger the magnetic field in the original molecular cloud, the more difficult it is to fragment massive cores to form several stars. Therefore, more and more arguments support the fossil field theory.
Asteroseismology and spectropolarimetry have allowed us to progress significantly in our understanding of the physics of hot stars over the last decade. It is now possible to combine these two techniques to learn even more information about hot stars and constrain their models. While only a few magnetic pulsating hot stars are known as of today and have been studied with both seismology and spectropolarimetry, new opportunities - in particular Kepler2 and BRITE - are emerging and will allow us to rapidly obtain new combined results.
UVMag is a medium-size space telescope equipped with a high-resolution spectropolarimetrer working in the UV and visible domains. It will be proposed to ESA for a future M mission. It will allow scientists to study all types of stars as well as e.g. exoplanets and the interstellar medium. It will be particularly useful for massive stars, since their spectral energy distribution peaks in the UV. UVMag will allow us to study massive stars and their circumstellar environment (in particular the stellar wind) spectroscopically in great details. Moreover, with UVMag's polarimetric capabilities we will be able, for the first time, to measure the magnetic field of massive stars simultaneously at the stellar surface and in the wind lines, i.e. to completely map their magnetosphere.
UVMag is a space project currently under R&D study. It consists in a medium-size telescope equipped with a spectropolarimeter to observe in the UV and optical wavelength domains simultaneously. Its first goal is to obtain time series of selected magnetic stars over their rotation period, to study them from their surface to their environment, in particular their wind and magnetospheres. As the star rotates it will be possible to reconstruct 3D maps of the star and its surroundings. The second goal of UVMag is to obtain two observations of a large sample of stars to construct a new database of UV and optical spectropolarimetric measurements.
The Be phenomenon, i.e. the ejection of matter from Be stars into a circumstellar disk, has been a long lasting mystery. In the last few years, the CoRoT satellite brought clear evidence that Be outbursts are directly correlated to pulsations and rapid rotation. In particular the stochastic excitation of gravito-inertial modes, such as those detected by CoRoT in the hot Be star HD 51452, is enhanced thanks to rapid rotation. These waves increase the transport of angular momentum and help to bring the already rapid stellar rotation to its critical value at the surface, allowing the star to eject material. Below we summarize the recent observational and theoretical findings and describe the new picture of the Be phenomenon which arose from these results.
The presence of pulsations influences the local parameters at the surface of massive stars and thus it modifies the Zeeman magnetic signatures. Therefore it makes the characterisation of a magnetic field in pulsating stars more difficult and the characterisation of pulsations is thus required for the study of magnetic massive stars. Conversely, the presence of a magnetic field can inhibit differential rotation and mixing in massive stars and thus provides important constraints for seismic modelling based on pulsation studies. As a consequence, it is necessary to combine spectropolarimetric and seismic studies for all massive classical pulsators. Below we show examples of such combined studies and the interplay between physical processes.
We review the different theoretical challenges concerning magnetism in interacting binary or multiple stars that will be studied in the BinaMIcS (Binarity and Magnetic Interactions in various classes of Stars) project during the corresponding spectropolarimetric Large Programs at CFHT and TBL. We describe how completely new and innovative topics will be studied with BinaMIcS such as the complex interactions between tidal flows and stellar magnetic fields, the MHD star-star interactions, and the role of stellar magnetism in stellar formation and vice versa. This will strongly modify our vision of the evolution of interacting binary and multiple stars.
The Working Group on Active B Stars (WGABS) was re-established under IAU Commission No. 29 at the IAU General Assembly in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1979. Its main goal is to promote and stimulate research and international collaboration in the field of active B stars. Originally known as the Working Group on Be Stars, its name was changed at the 22nd IAU General Assembly in The Hague, Netherlands in 1994 when the research interests of the group were broadened to include activity in all B stars, especially pulsating OB stars, interacting binaries, stellar winds, and magnetic fields.
The corot and kepler space missions are collecting very high-precision long-duration photometric data of many Be stars, allowing us to better understand the origin of their short-term variability and the link between these variations and the Be phenomenon. In this paper, we present a brief summary of the results obtained in the analysis of several Be stars observed with corot in terms of pulsations. In addition, we show that variations of the Be star HD 175869 can be explained as two active regions separated by 150 degrees or as unstable pulsating modes in a star with an extensive mixing in radiative layers corresponding to a core overshooting of 0.35Hp. A preliminary study of the photometric and spectroscopic variability seen in the B1.5IVe star HD 51193 is performed. Currently the kepler satellite is observing the only confirmed Be star in its field of view, namely KIC 6954726. From low-resolution spectra we derived a spectral type of B2.5Ve for this star and we studied the long-term variation of the emission in the Hα line. The 3.5-year kepler light curve will allow us to detect even more close frequencies than with corot and to perform a detailed analysis of the amplitude variations in a Be star.
Seventy-eight high-resolution Stokes V, Q and U spectra of the B8Iae supergiant Rigel were obtained with the ESPaDOnS spectropolarimeter at CFHT and its clone NARVAL at TBL in the context of the Magnetism in Massive Stars (MiMeS) Large Program, in order to scrutinize this core-collapse supernova progenitor for evidence of weak and/or complex magnetic fields. In this paper we describe the reduction and analysis of the data, the constraints obtained on any photospheric magnetic field, and the variability of photospheric and wind lines.
We present the status of the BeSS database, which contains a catalogue of all known classical Be stars and a large collection of their spectra obtained at any wavelength, any epoch, and from various sources, from amateur astronomer spectra to professional high-resolution high signal-to-noise echelle spectra. Efficient data retrieval in such a heterogeneous data collection is possible with a wide range of selection criteria thanks to their storage in the fits format and via a web interface (http://basebe.obspm.fr) as well as via the Virtual Observatory. BeSS already contains over 49000 spectra and has allowed the detection of several outbursts.
First we investigate the spectral and photometric properties (colours, magnitudes) of a sample of faint Be stars observed in the first exoplanet fields of CoRoT (IR1, LRA1 and LRC1). We determine the fundamental parameters by fitting ESO-FLAMES/GIRAFFE spectra with synthetic models taking account for non-LTE effects. After that we correct these parameters from fast rotation effects. We also study the location of each star in the (logL vs logT) HR diagram. Second we start to analyse the CoRoT light curves to investigate further the possible correlation between the pulsating properties and the fundamental parameters of the stars.
The Magnetism in Massive Stars (MiMeS) Project is a consensus collaboration among many of the foremost international researchers of the physics of hot, massive stars, with the basic aim of understanding the origin, evolution and impact of magnetic fields in these objects. At the time of writing, MiMeS Large Programs have acquired over 950 high-resolution polarised spectra of about 150 individual stars with spectral types from B5-O4, discovering new magnetic fields in a dozen hot, massive stars. The quality of this spectral and magnetic matériel is very high, and the Collaboration is keen to connect with colleagues capable of exploiting the data in new or unforeseen ways. In this paper we review the structure of the MiMeS observing programs and report the status of observations, data modeling and development of related theory.
The meeting of the Working Group on Active B Stars consisted of a business session followed by a scientific session containing nine talks. The titles of the talks and their presenters are listed below. We plan to publish a series of articles containing summaries of these talks in Issue No. 40 of the Be Star Newsletter. This report contains an account of the announcements made during the business session, an update on a forthcoming IAU Symposium on active B stars, a report on the status of the Be Star Newsletter, the results of the 2009 election of the SOC for the Working Group for 2009-12, a listing of the Working Group bylaws that were recently adopted, and a list of the scientific talks that we presented at the meeting.