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A small subset of Galactic O-stars possess surface magnetic fields that alter the outflowing stellar wind by magnetically confining it. Key to the magnetic confinement is that it induces rotational modulation of spectral lines over the full EM domain; this allows us to infer basic quantities, e.g., mass-loss rate and magnetic geometry. Here, we present an empirical study of the Hα line in Galactic magnetic O-stars to constrain the mass fed from the stellar base into the magnetosphere, using realistic multi-dimensional magnetized wind models, and compare with theoretical predictions. Our results suggest that it may be reasonable to use mass-feeding rates from non-magnetic wind theory if the absolute mass-loss rate is scaled down according to the amount of wind material falling back upon the stellar surface. This provides then some empirical support to the proposal that such magnetic O-stars might evolve into heavy stellar-mass black holes (Petit et al.2017).
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.
Large-scale dipolar surface magnetic fields have been detected in a fraction of OB stars, however only few stellar evolution models of massive stars have considered the impact of these fossil fields. We are performing 1D hydrodynamical model calculations taking into account evolutionary consequences of the magnetospheric-wind interactions in a simplified parametric way. Two effects are considered: i) the global mass-loss rates are reduced due to mass-loss quenching, and ii) the surface angular momentum loss is enhanced due to magnetic braking. As a result of the magnetic mass-loss quenching, the mass of magnetic massive stars remains close to their initial masses. Thus magnetic massive stars - even at Galactic metallicity - have the potential to be progenitors of ‘heavy’ stellar mass black holes. Similarly, at Galactic metallicity, the formation of pair instability supernovae is plausible with a magnetic progenitor.
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.
Magnetic fields are likely to be an efficient mechanism which can affect evolved intermediate mass stars (i.e. post-AGB stars and planetary nebulae) in different ways such as via the shaping of their envelope. However, observational probes for the presence of those fields are still scarce. I will present a summary of the works, including those from our group, on the detection and measurement of magnetic fields in various evolved objects.
We present our analysis of 6 years of ESPaDOnS spectropolarimetry of the magnetic β Cep star ξ1 CMa (B1 III). This high-precision magnetometry is consistent with a rotational period Prot > 40 yr. Absorption line profiles can be reproduced with a non-rotating model. We constrain R⋆, L⋆, and the stellar age via a Baade-Wesselink analysis. Spindown due to angular momentum loss via the magnetosphere predicts an extremely long rotational period if the magnetic dipole Bd > 6 kG, a strength also inferred by the best-fit sinusoids to the longitudinal magnetic field measurements BZ when phased with a 60-year Prot.
Magnetic B-type stars are often host to Centrifugal Magnetospheres (CMs). Here we describe the results of a population study encompassing the full sample of known magnetic early B-type stars, focusing on those with detectable CMs. We present revised rotational and magnetic parameters for some stars, clarifying their positions on the rotation-confinement diagram, and find that plasma densities within their CMs is much lower than those predicted by centrifugal breakout.
For 30 years, cyclical wind variability in OB stars has puzzled the astronomical community. Phenomenological models involving co-rotating bright spots provide a potential explanation for the observed variations, but the underlying physics remains unknown. We present recent results from hydrodynamical simulations constraining bright spot properties and compare them to what can be inferred from space-based photometry. We also explore the possibility that these spots are caused by magnetic fields and discuss the detectability of such fields.
Early-type stars are well-known to be sources of soft X-rays. However, this high-energy emission can be supplemented by bright and hard X-rays when magnetically confined winds are present. In an attempt to clarify the systematics of the observed X-ray properties of this phenomenon, a large series of Chandra and XMM observations was analyzed, over 100 exposures of 60% of the known magnetic massive stars listed recently by Petit et al. (2013). It is found that the X-ray luminosity is strongly correlated with mass-loss rate, in agreement with predictions of magnetically confined wind models, though the predictions of higher temperature are not always verified. We also investigated the behaviour of other X-ray properties (absorption, variability), yielding additional constraints on models. This work not only advances our knowledge of the X-ray emission of massive stars, but also suggests new observational and theoretical avenues to further explore magnetically confined winds.
Magnetic fields of cool active stars are currently studied polarimetrically using only circular polarization observations. This provides limited information about the magnetic field geometry since circular polarization is only sensitive to the line-of-sight component of the magnetic field. Reconstructions of the magnetic field topology will therefore not be completely trustworthy when only circular polarization is used. On the other hand, linear polarization is sensitive to the transverse component of the magnetic field. By including linear polarization in the reconstruction the quality of the reconstructed magnetic map is dramatically improved. For that reason, we wanted to identify cool stars for which linear polarization could be detected at a level sufficient for magnetic imaging. Four active RS CVn binaries, II Peg, HR 1099, IM Peg, and σ Gem were observed with the ESPaDOnS spectropolarimeter at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Mean polarization profiles in all four Stokes parameters were derived using the multi-line technique of least-squares deconvolution (LSD). Not only was linear polarization successfully detected in all four stars in at least one observation, but also, II Peg showed an extraordinarily strong linear polarization signature throughout all observations. This qualifies II Peg as the first promising target for magnetic Doppler imaging in all four Stokes parameters and, at the same time, suggests that other such targets can possibly be identified.
We present our first results on a new sample containing all single G, K and M giants down to V = 4 mag in the Solar vicinity, suitable for spectropolarimetric (Stokes V) observations with Narval at TBL, France. For detection and measurement of the magnetic field (MF), the Least Squares Deconvolution (LSD) method was applied (Donati et al. 1997) that in the present case enables detection of large-scale MFs even weaker than the solar one (the typical precision of our longitudinal MF measurements is 0.1-0.2 G). The evolutionary status of the stars is determined on the basis of the evolutionary models with rotation (Lagarde et al. 2012; Charbonnel et al., in prep.) and fundamental parameters given by Massarotti et al. (1998). The stars appear to be in the mass range 1-4 M⊙, situated at different evolutionary stages after the Main Sequence (MS), up to the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB).
The sample contains 45 stars. Up to now, 29 stars are observed (that is about 64% of the sample), each observed at least twice. For 2 stars in the Hertzsprung gap, one is definitely Zeeman detected. Only 5 G and K giants, situated mainly at the base of the Red Giant Branch (RGB) and in the He-burning phase are detected. Surprisingly, a lot of stars ascending towards the RGB tip and in early AGB phase are detected (8 of 13 observed stars). For all Zeeman detected stars v sin i is redetermined and appears in the interval 2-3 km/s, but few giants with MF possess larger v sin i.
Pollux is considered as an archetype of a giant star hosting a planet: its radial velocity (RV) presents sinusoidal variations with a period of about 590 d, which have been stable for more than 25 years. Using ESPaDOnS and Narval we have detected a weak (sub-gauss) magnetic field at the surface of Pollux and followed up its variations with Narval during 4.25 years, i.e. more than for two periods of the RV variations. The longitudinal magnetic field is found to vary with a sinusoidal behaviour with a period close to that of the RV variations and with a small shift in phase. We then performed a Zeeman Doppler imaging (ZDI) investigation from the Stokes V and Stokes I least-squares deconvolution (LSD) profiles. A rotational period is determined, which is consistent with the period of variations of the RV. The magnetic topology is found to be mainly poloidal and this component almost purely dipolar. The mean strength of the surface magnetic field is about 0.7 G. As an alternative to the scenario in which Pollux hosts a close-in exoplanet, we suggest that the magnetic dipole of Pollux can be associated with two temperature and macroturbulent velocity spots which could be sufficient to produce the RV variations. We finally investigate the scenarii of the origin of the magnetic field which could explain the observed properties of Pollux.
OB stars are known to exhibit various types of wind variability, as detected in their ultraviolet spectra, amongst which are the ubiquitous discrete absorption components (DACs). These features have been associated with large-scale azimuthal structures extending from the base of the wind to its outer regions: corotating interaction regions (CIRs). There are several competing hypotheses as to which physical processes may perturb the star's surface and generate CIRs, including magnetic fields and non radial pulsations (NRPs), the subjects of this paper with a particular emphasis on the former. Although large-scale magnetic fields are ruled out, magnetic spots deserve further investigation, both on the observational and theoretical fronts.
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.
Until recently, the detection of magnetic fields at the surface of intermediate-mass main-sequence stars has been limited to Ap/Bp stars, a class of chemically peculiar stars. This class represents no more than 5-10% of the stars in this mass range. This small fraction is not explained by the fossil field paradigm that describes the Ap/Bp type magnetism as a remnant of an early phase of the star-life. Also, the limitation of the field measurements to a small and special group of stars is obviously a problem to study the effect of the magnetic fields on the stellar evolution of a typical intermediate-mass star.
Thanks to the improved sensitivity of a new generation of spectropolarimeters, a lower bound to the magnetic fields of Ap/Bp stars, a two orders of magnitude desert in the longitudinal magnetic field and a new type of sub-gauss magnetism first discovered on Vega have been identified. These advances provide new clues to understand the origin of intermediate-mass magnetism as well as its influence on stellar evolution. In particular, a scenario has been proposed whereby the magnetic dichotomy between Ap/Bp and Vega-like magnetism originate from the bifurcation between stable and unstable large scale magnetic configurations in differentially rotating stars. In this paper, we review these recent observational findings and discuss this scenario.
The B0.2 V magnetic star τ Sco stands out from the larger population of massive magnetic OB stars due to its remarkable, superionized wind, apparently related to its peculiar magnetic field – a field which is far more complex than the mostly-dipolar fields usually observed in magnetic OB stars. τ Sco is therefore a puzzling outlier in the larger picture of stellar magnetism – a star that still defies interpretation in terms of a physically coherent model.
Recently, two early B-type stars were discovered as τ Sco analogues, identified by the striking similarity of their UV spectra to that of τ Sco, which was – until now – unique among OB stars. We present the recent detection of their magnetic fields by the MiMeS collaboration, reinforcing the connection between the presence of a magnetic field and a superionized wind. We will also present ongoing observational efforts undertaken to establish the precise magnetic topology, in order to provide additional constrains for existing models attempting to reproduce the unique wind structure of τ Sco-like stars.
This paper presents results obtained from Stokes I and V spectra of the B2Vp star sigma Ori E, observed by both the Narval and ESPaDOnS spectropolarimeters. Using Least-Squares Deconvolution, we investigate the longitudinal magnetic field at the current epoch, including period analysis exploiting current and historical data. σ Ori E is the prototypical helium-strong star that has been shown to harbor a strong magnetic field, as well as a magnetosphere, consisting of two clouds of plasma forced by magnetic and centrifugal forces to co-rotate with the star on its 1.19 day period. The Rigidly Rotating Magnetosphere (RRM) model of Townsend & Owocki (2005) approximately reproduces the observed variations in longitudinal field strength, photometric brightness, Hα emission, and various other observables. There are, however, small discrepancies between the observations and model in the photometric light curve, which we propose arise from inhomogeneous chemical abundances on the star's surface. Using Magnetic Doppler Imaging (MDI), future work will attempt to identify the contributions to the photometric variation due to abundance spots and due to circumstellar material.
We report recent observations of the sharp-lined magnetic βCep pulsator ξ1 CMa (= HD 46328). The longitudinal magnetic field of this star is detected consistently, but it is not observed to vary significantly, during nearly 5 years of observation. In this poster we evaluate whether the constant longitudinal field is due to intrinsically slow rotation, or rather if the stellar or magnetic geometry is responsible.
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 discuss the recent detection of a strong, organized magnetic field in the bright, broad-line B2V star, HD 142184, using the ESPaDOnS spectropolarimeter on the CFHT as part of the Magnetism in Massive Stars (MiMeS) survey. We find a rotational period of 0.50833 days, making it the fastest-rotating, non-degenerate magnetic star ever detected. Like the previous rapid-rotation record holder HR 7355 (also discovered by MiMeS: Oksala et al. 2010, Rivinius et al. 2010), this star shows emission line variability that is diagnostic of a structured magnetosphere.