EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 491, Number 2, November IV 2008
Page(s) 499 - 505
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200810502
Published online 01 October 2008

A&A 491, 499-505 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810502

EK Eridani: the tip of the iceberg of giants which have evolved from magnetic Ap stars

M. Aurière1, R. Konstantinova-Antova2, P. Petit1, C. Charbonnel3, 1, B. Dintrans1, F. Lignières1, T. Roudier1, E. Alecian4, J. F. Donati1, J. D. Landstreet5, and G. A. Wade4

1  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Toulouse- Tarbes, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, 57 Avenue d'Azereix, 65008 Tarbes, France
    e-mail: michel.auriere@ast.obs-mip.fr
2  Institute of Astronomy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 72 Tsarigradsko shose, 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria
3  Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, 51 Chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
4  Department of Physics, Royal Military College of Canada, PO Box 17000, Station “Forces”, Kingston, K7K 4B4 Ontario, Canada
5  Department of Physics & Astronomy, The University of Western Ontario, London, N6A 3K7 Ontario, Canada

Received 2 July 2008 / Accepted 24 August 2008

Aims. We observe the slowly-rotating, active, single giant, EK Eri, to study and infer the nature of its magnetic field directly.
Methods. We used the spectropolarimeter NARVAL at the Telescope Bernard Lyot, Pic du Midi Observatory, and the Least Square Deconvolution method to create high signal-to-noise ratio Stokes V profiles. We fitted the Stokes V profiles with a model of the large-scale magnetic field. We studied the classical activity indicators, the Ca II H and K lines, the Ca II infrared triplet, and H$\alpha$ line.
Results. We detected the Stokes V signal of EK Eri securely and measured the longitudinal magnetic field $B_{\rm l}$ for seven individual dates spanning 60% of the rotational period. The measured longitudinal magnetic field of EK Eri reached about 100 G and was as strong as fields observed in RSCVn or FK Com type stars: this was found to be extraordinary when compared with the weak fields observed at the surfaces of slowly-rotating MS stars or any single red giant previously observed with NARVAL. From our modeling, we infer that the mean surface magnetic field is about 270 G, and that the large scale magnetic field is dominated by a poloidal component. This is compatible with expectations for the descendant of a strongly magnetic Ap star.

Key words: stars: individual: EK Eridani -- stars: magnetic fields -- stars: late-type

© ESO 2008

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