The FORS1 catalogue of stellar magnetic field measurements⋆
Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh
BT61 9DG, UK
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
2 Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstrasse 6, 8042 Graz, Austria
3 Argelander Institut für Astronomie, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
4 Physics & Astronomy Department, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 3K7, Canada
Received: 8 May 2015
Accepted: 3 August 2015
Context. The FORS1 instrument on the ESO Very Large Telescope was used to obtain low-resolution circular polarised spectra of nearly a thousand different stars, with the aim of measuring their mean longitudinal magnetic fields. Magnetic fields were measured by different authors, and using different methods and software tools.
Aims. A catalogue of FORS1 magnetic measurements would provide a valuable resource with which to better understand the strengths and limitations of this instrument and of similar low-dispersion, Cassegrain spectropolarimeters. However, FORS1 data reduction has been carried out by a number of different groups using a variety of reduction and analysis techniques. Our understanding of the instrument and our data reduction techniques have both improved over time. A full re-analysis of FORS1 archive data using a consistent and fully documented algorithm would optimise the accuracy and usefulness of a catalogue of field measurements.
Methods. Based on the ESO FORS pipeline, we have developed a semi-automatic procedure for magnetic field determinations, which includes self-consistent checks for field detection reliability. We have applied our procedure to the full content of circular spectropolarimetric measurements of the FORS1 archive.
Results. We have produced a catalogue of spectro-polarimetric observations and magnetic field measurements for ~1400 observations of ~850 different objects. The spectral type of each object has been approximately classified. We have also been able to test different methods for data reduction is a systematic way. The resulting catalogue has been used to produce an estimator for an upper limit to the uncertainty in a field strength measurement of an early type star as a function of the signal-to-noise ratio of the observation.
Conclusions. While FORS1 is not necessarily an optimal instrument for the discovery of weak magnetic fields, it is very useful for the systematic study of larger fields, such as those found in Ap/Bp stars and in white dwarfs.
Key words: polarization / catalogs / stars: magnetic field
The full version of the catalog and the spectra are also available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/583/A115
© ESO, 2015