EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 432, Number 1, March II 2005
Page(s) 273 - 279
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041993


A&A 432, 273-279 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041993

Discovery of magnetic fields in central stars of planetary nebulae

S. Jordan1, K. Werner2 and S. J. O'Toole3

1  Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
    e-mail: jordan@ari.uni-heidelberg.de
2  Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
3  Dr.-Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, Sternwartstr. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany

(Received 10 September 2004 / Accepted 1 November 2004 )

Abstract
For the first time we have directly detected magnetic fields in central stars of planetary nebulae by means of spectro-polarimetry with FORS1 at the VLT. In all four objects of our sample we found kilogauss magnetic fields, in NGC 1360 and LSS 1362 with very high significance, while in EGB 5 and Abell 36 the existence of a magnetic field is probable but with less certainty. This discovery supports the hypothesis that the non-spherical symmetry of most planetary nebulae is caused by magnetic fields in AGB stars. Our high discovery rate demands mechanisms to prevent full conservation of magnetic flux during the transition to white dwarfs.


Key words: stars: white dwarfs -- stars: magnetic fields -- stars: individual: NGC 1360, EGB 5, LSS 1362, Abell 36

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