EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 502, Number 1, July IV 2009
Page(s) 283 - 301
Section Stellar atmospheres
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200811533
Published online 04 June 2009
A&A 502, 283-301 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200811533

Searching for a link between the magnetic nature and other observed properties of Herbig Ae/Be stars and stars with debris disks

S. Hubrig1, 2, B. Stelzer3, M. Schöller4, C. Grady5, O. Schütz2, M. A. Pogodin6, 7, M. Curé8, K. Hamaguchi9, and R. V. Yudin6, 7

1  Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
    e-mail: shubrig@aip.de
2  European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
3  INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy
4  European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
5  Eureka Scientific, 2452 Delmer, Suite 100, Oakland, CA 96002, USA
6  Pulkovo Observatory, Saint-Petersburg, 196140, Russia
7  Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, Saint-Petersburg Branch, Russia
8  Departamento de Física y Astronomía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile
9  Astrophysics Science Division, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Received 16 December 2008 / Accepted 27 April 2009

Context. Recently, evidence for the presence of weak magnetic fields in Herbig Ae/Be stars has been found in several studies.
Aims. We seek to expand the sample of intermediate-mass pre-main sequence stars with circular polarization data to measure their magnetic fields, and to determine whether magnetic field properties in these stars are correlated with mass-accretion rate, disk inclination, companions, silicates, PAHs, or show a correlation with age and X-ray emission as expected for the decay of a remnant dynamo.
Methods. Spectropolarimetric observations of 21 Herbig Ae/Be stars and six debris disk stars have been obtained at the European Southern Observatory with FORS 1 mounted on the 8 m Kueyen telescope of the VLT. With the GRISM 600B in the wavelength range 3250–6215 Å we were able to cover all hydrogen Balmer lines from H$\beta$ to the Balmer jump. In all observations a slit width of 0$\farcs$4 was used to obtain a spectral resolving power of R $\approx$ 2000.
Results. Among the 21 Herbig Ae/Be stars studied, new detections of a magnetic field were achieved in six stars. For three Herbig Ae/Be stars, we confirm previous magnetic field detections. The largest longitudinal magnetic field, $\left<B_{\rm z}\right>$ = -454$\pm$42 G, was detected in the Herbig Ae/Be star HD 101412 using hydrogen lines. No field detection at a significance level of 3$\sigma$ was achieved in stars with debris disks. Our study does not indicate any correlation of the strength of the longitudinal magnetic field with disk orientation, disk geometry, or the presence of a companion. We also do not see any simple dependence on the mass-accretion rate. However, it is likely that the range of observed field values qualitatively supports the expectations from magnetospheric accretion models giving support for dipole-like field geometries. Both the magnetic field strength and the X-ray emission show hints of a decline with age in the range of ~2–14 Myr probed by our sample, supporting a dynamo mechanism that decays with age. However, our study of rotation does not show any obvious trend of the strength of the longitudinal magnetic field with rotation period. Furthermore, the stars seem to obey the universal power-law relation between magnetic flux and X-ray luminosity established for the Sun and main-sequence active dwarf stars.

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

© ESO 2009

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