Ultraviolet and visual flux and line variations of one of the least variable Bp stars HD 64740⋆
1 Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 61137 Brno, Czech Republic
2 Observatory and Planetarium of J. Palisa, VŠB − Technical University, 70833 Ostrava, Czech Republic
Received: 29 December 2012
Accepted: 23 May 2013
Context. The light variability of hot magnetic chemically peculiar stars is typically caused by the flux redistribution in spots with peculiar abundance. This raises the question why some stars with surface abundance spots show significant rotational light variability, while others do not.
Aims. We study the Bp star HD 64740 to investigate how its remarkable inhomogeneities in the surface distribution of helium and silicon, and the corresponding strong variability of many spectral lines, can result in one of the faintest photometric variabilities among the Bp stars.
Methods. We used model atmospheres and synthetic spectra calculated for the silicon and helium abundances from surface abundance maps to predict the ultraviolet and visual light and line variability of HD 64740. The predicted fluxes and line profiles were compared with the observed ones derived with the IUE, HST, and Hipparcos satellites and with spectra acquired using the FEROS spectrograph at the 2.2 m MPG/ESO telescope in La Silla.
Results. We are able to reproduce the observed visual light curve of HD 64740 assuming an inhomogeneous distribution of iron correlated with silicon distribution. The light variations in the ultraviolet are hardly detectable. We detect the variability of many ultraviolet lines of carbon, silicon, and aluminium and discuss the origin of these lines and the nature of their variations.
Conclusions. The maximum abundances of helium and silicon on the surface of HD 64740 are not high enough to cause significant light variations. The detected variability of many ultraviolet lines is most likely of atmospheric origin and reflects the inhomogeneous elemental surface distribution. The variability of the C iv resonance lines of carbon is stronger and it probably results from the dependence of the wind mass-loss rate on the chemical composition and magnetic field orientation. We have not been able to detect a clear signature of the matter trapped in the circumstellar clouds.
Key words: stars: chemically peculiar / stars: early-type / stars: variables: general / stars: winds, outflows / ultraviolet: stars / stars: individual: HD 64740
© ESO, 2013