EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 463, Number 3, March I 2007
Page(s) 1039 - 1046
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20066090

A&A 463, 1039-1046 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20066090

The magnetic field in the photospheric and circumstellar components of Herbig Ae stars

S. Hubrig1, M. A. Pogodin2, 3, R. V. Yudin2, 3, M. Schöller1, and R. S. Schnerr4

1  European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
    e-mail: shubrig@eso.org
2  Pulkovo Observatory, Saint-Petersburg, 196140, Russia
3  Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, Saint-Petersburg Branch, Russia
4  Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek", University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

(Received 24 July 2006 / Accepted 12 October 2006)

Aims.We investigate the photospheric and circumstellar (CS) magnetic field components separately in seven Herbig Ae stars.
Methods.The study is based on low-resolution ($R\sim$ 2000 and 4000) spectropolarimetric data collected from 2003 to 2005 at the Very Large Telescope (ESO, Chile) with the multi-mode instrument FORS1.
Results.We show that the spectropolarimetric results strongly depend on the level of CS contribution to the stellar spectra. We have improved the determination accuracy of magnetic fields up to the 7$\sigma$ level in the two Herbig Ae stars HD 139614 and HD 144432, observed in 2005 when these objects were at a low level state in their CS activity. We have established that at a higher level state of CS activity the polarisation signatures are mainly related to the CS matter. The presence of CS polarisation signatures formed in the stellar wind supports the assumption that the magnetic centrifuge is one of the main mechanisms of wind acceleration.
Conclusions.We conclude that the most effective way to investigate the magnetism of Herbig Ae stars is to monitor their spectropolarimetric behaviour at different stages of CS activity. Obviously, higher-resolution spectropolarimetric observations would extend the sample of spectral lines which can be used to measure magnetic fields at different levels in the stellar atmosphere and CS envelope. These observations will give a more complete insight into the magnetic topology in Herbig Ae stars.

Key words: stars: pre-main sequence -- polarization -- stars: magnetic fields -- stars: circumstellar matter

© ESO 2007