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No magnetic field in the spotted HgMn star mu Leporis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Observational Astronomy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Observational Astronomy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Observational Astronomy.
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2011 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 534, L13- p.Article in journal, Letter (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context. Chemically peculiar stars of the mercury-manganese (HgMn) type represent a new class of spotted late-B stars, in which evolving surface chemical inhomogeneities are apparently unrelated to the presence of strong magnetic fields but are produced by some hitherto unknown astrophysical mechanism.

Aims. The goal of this study is to perform a detailed line profile variability analysis and carry out a sensitive magnetic field search for one of the brightest HgMn stars -mu Lep.

Methods. We acquired a set of very high-quality intensity and polarization spectra of mu Lep with the HARPSpol polarimeter. These data were analyzed with the multiline technique of least-squares deconvolution in order to extract information on the magnetic field and line profile variability.

Results. Our spectra show very weak but definite variability in the lines of Sc, all Fe-peak elements represented in the spectrum of mu Lep, as well as Y, Sr, and Hg. Variability might also be present in the lines of Si and Mg. Anomalous profile shapes of Ti II and YII lines suggest a dominant axisymmetric distribution of these elements. At the same time, we found no evidence of the magnetic field in mu Lep, with the 3 sigma upper limit of only 3 G for the mean longitudinal magnetic field. This is the most stringent upper limit on the possible magnetic field derived for a spotted HgMn star.

Conclusions. The very weak variability detected for many elements in the spectrum mu Lep suggests that low-contrast chemical inhomogeneities may be common in HgMn stars and that they have not been recognized until now due to the limited precision of previous spectroscopic observations and a lack of time-series data. The null result of the magnetic field search reinforces the conclusion that formation of chemical spots in HgMn stars is not magnetically driven.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 534, L13- p.
Keyword [en]
stars: chemically peculiar, stars: individual: HD33904, stars: magnetic field, starspots, polarization
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162375DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201117970ISI: 000296554800158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-162375DiVA: diva2:460502
Available from: 2011-11-30 Created: 2011-11-30 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Kochukhov, OlegMakaganiuk, VitaliiPiskunov, NikolaiStempels, Henricus C.

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