EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 484, Number 2, June III 2008
Page(s) 479 - 486
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20078963
Published online 26 March 2008

A&A 484, 479-486 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20078963

Magnetic fields in A-type stars associated with X-ray emission

C. Schröder1, S. Hubrig2, and J. H. M. M. Schmitt1

1  Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
    e-mail: cschroeder@hs.uni-hamburg.de
2  European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile

Received 30 October 2007 / Accepted 25 February 2008

A common explanation for the observed X-ray emission of A-type stars is the presence of a hidden late-type companion. While this assumption can be shown to be correct in some cases, a number of lines of evidence suggests that low-mass companions cannot be the correct cause for the observed activity in all cases. A model explains the X-ray emission for magnetic Ap/Bp stars, focusing on the A0p star IQ Aur. In this paper we test whether this theoretical model is able to explain the observed X-ray emission. We present the observations of 13 A-type stars that have been associated with X-ray emission detected by ROSAT. To determine the mean longitudinal magnetic field strength we measured the circular polarization in the wings of the Balmer lines using FORS1. Although the emission of those objects that possess magnetic fields fits the prediction of the Babel and Montmerle model, not all X-ray detections are connected to the presence of a magnetic field. Additionally, the measured magnetic fields do not correlate with the X-ray luminosity. Accordingly, the magnetically confined wind shock model cannot explain the X-ray emission from all the presented stars.

Key words: stars: magnetic fields -- stars: activity -- X-rays: stars -- stars: early-type

© ESO 2008