Magnetic field topology of the RS CVn star II Pegasi⋆
O. Kochukhov1, M. J. Mantere2, T. Hackman2,3 and I. Ilyin4
Department of Physics and AstronomyUppsala University,
2 Department of Physics, Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a, University of Helsinki, Box 64, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
3 Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
4 Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 24 September 2012
Accepted: 10 December 2012
Context. The dynamo processes in cool active stars generate complex magnetic fields responsible for prominent surface stellar activity and variability at different time scales. For a small number of cool stars magnetic field topologies were reconstructed from the time series of spectropolarimetric observations using the Zeeman Doppler imaging (ZDI) method, often yielding surprising and controversial results.
Aims. In this study we follow a long-term evolution of the magnetic field topology of the RS CVn binary star II Peg using a more self-consistent and physically more meaningful modelling approach compared to previous ZDI studies.
Methods. We collected high-resolution circular polarisation observations of II Peg using the SOFIN spectropolarimeter at the Nordic Optical Telescope. These data cover 12 epochs spread over 7 years, comprising one of the most comprehensive spectropolarimetric data sets acquired for a cool active star. A multi-line diagnostic technique in combination with a new ZDI code is applied to interpret these observations.
Results. We have succeeded in detecting clear magnetic field signatures in average Stokes V profiles for all 12 data sets. These profiles typically have complex shapes and amplitudes of ~10-3 of the unpolarised continuum, corresponding to mean longitudinal fields of 50–100 G. Magnetic inversions using these data reveals evolving magnetic fields with typical local strengths of 0.5–1.0 kG and complex topologies. Despite using a self-consistent magnetic and temperature mapping technique, we do not find a clear correlation between magnetic and temperature features in the ZDI maps. Neither do we confirm the presence of persistent azimuthal field rings found in other RS CVn stars. Reconstruction of the magnetic field topology of II Peg reveals significant evolution of both the surface magnetic field structure and the extended magnetospheric field geometry on the time scale covered by our observations. From 2004 to 2010 the total field energy drastically declined and the field became less axisymmetric. This also coincided with the transition from predominantly poloidal to mainly toroidal field topology.
Conclusions. A qualitative comparison of the ZDI maps of II Peg with the prediction of dynamo theory suggests that the magnetic field in this star is produced mainly by the turbulent α2 dynamo rather than the solar αΩ dynamo. Our results do not show a clear active longitude system, nor is there evidence of the presence of an azimuthal dynamo wave.
Key words: polarization / stars: activity / stars: atmospheres / stars: magnetic field / stars: individual: II Pegasi
© ESO, 2013