A dominant magnetic dipole for the evolved Ap star candidate EK Eridani⋆
Université de Toulouse, UPS-OMP, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
e-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; thierry.roudier;@irap.omp.eu; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
2 CNRS, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, 14 avenue Édouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
3 Institute of Astronomy and NAO, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 72 Tsarigradsko shose, 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria
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4 Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, 51 chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
5 Department of Physics, Royal Military College of Canada, PO Box 17000, Station “Forces”, Kingston, Ontario, K7K 4B4, Canada
Received: 17 June 2011
Accepted: 20 September 2011
Context. EK Eri is one of the most slowly rotating active giants known, and has been proposed to be the descendant of a strongly magnetic Ap star.
Aims. We have performed a spectropolarimetric study of EK Eri over 4 photometric periods with the aim of inferring the topology of its magnetic field.
Methods. We used the NARVAL spectropolarimeter at the Bernard Lyot telescope at the Pic du Midi Observatory, along with the least-squares deconvolution method, to extract high signal-to-noise ratio Stokes V profiles from a timeseries of 28 polarisation spectra. We have derived the surface-averaged longitudinal magnetic field Bℓ. We fit the Stokes V profiles with a model of the large-scale magnetic field and obtained Zeeman Doppler images of the surface magnetic strength and geometry. We studied the classical activity indicators, the Ca ii H and K lines, the Ca ii infrared triplet, and Hα line, as well as the stellar radial velocity.
Results. Bℓ variations of up to about 80 G are observed without any reversal of its sign, and which are in phase with photometric ephemeris. The activity indicators are shown to vary smoothly on a timescale compatible with the rotational period inferred from photometry (308.8 d), however large deviations can occur from one rotation to another. The surface magnetic field variations of EK Eri appear to be dominated by a strong magnetic spot (of negative polarity) which is phased with the dark (cool) photometric spot. Our modeling shows that the large-scale magnetic field of EK Eri is strongly poloidal. For a rotational axis inclination of i = 60°, we obtain a model that is almost purely dipolar.
Conclusions. In the dipolar model, the strong magnetic/photometric spot corresponds to the negative pole of the dipole, which could be the remnant of that of an Ap star progenitor of EK Eri. Our observations and modeling conceptually support this hypothesis, suggesting an explanation of the outstanding magnetic properties of EK Eri as the result of interaction between deep convection and the remnant of an Ap star magnetic dipole. Nevertheless, the longitudinal magnetic field curve clearly shows changes from one rotation to the next, indicating that the surface magnetic topology is not static as in an Ap star.
Key words: stars: individual: EK Eridani / stars: magnetic field / stars: late-type
© ESO, 2011