EDP Sciences
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Volume 385, Number 1, April I 2002
Page(s) 152 - 155
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020144

A&A 385, 152-155 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020144

On the circularly polarized optical emission from AE Aquarii

N. R. Ikhsanov1, 2, S. Jordan3, 4 and N. G. Beskrovnaya2, 5

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2  Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Science at Pulkovo, Pulkovo 65-1, 196140 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
3  Institut für Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik, Universität Kiel, 24098 Kiel, Germany
4  Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany,
    e-mail: jordan@astro.uni-tuebingen.de
5  Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, St. Petersburg Branch, Russia

(Received 19 November 2001 / Accepted 17 January 2002)

The reported nightly mean value of the circular polarization of optical emission observed from the close binary system is $0.06\% \pm 0.01\%$. We discuss the possibility that the observed polarized radiation is emitted mainly by the white dwarf or its vicinity. We demonstrate that this hypothesis is rather unlikely since the contribution of the white dwarf to the optical radiation of the system is too small. This indicates that the polarimetric data on cannot be used for the evaluation of the surface magnetic field strength of the white dwarf in this system.

Key words: stars: binaries: close -- stars: magnetic fields -- stars: white dwarfs -- polarization -- stars: individual: AE Aqr

Offprint request: N. R. Ikhsanov, ikhsanov@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de

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