Evolution of the magnetic field of Betelgeuse from 2009–2017★
IRAP, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, CNES,
57 avenue d’Azereix,
2 IRAP, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, CNES, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
3 Université de Montpellier, CNRS, LUPM, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France
4 Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, Rm 101, 50 St. George Street, Toronto ON M5S 3H4, Canada
5 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Bordeaux, Univ. Bordeaux, CNRS, B18N, Allée Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 33615 Pessac, France
6 Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Lagrange, CS 34229, 06304 Nice Cedex 4, France
7 Institute of Astronomy, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D B2401, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
8 Institute of Astronomy and NAO, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 72 Tsarigradsko shose, 1784 Sofia, Bulgaria
9 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, UPMC, Univ. Paris-Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
10 Department of Physics, Royal Military College of Canada, PO Box 17000, Station Forces, Kingston ON K7K 4B4, Canada
Accepted: 5 March 2018
Context. Betelgeuse is an M-type supergiant that presents a circularly polarized (Stokes V) signal in its line profiles, interpreted in terms of a surface magnetic field.
Aims. The weak circular polarization signal has been monitored over 7.5 years in order to follow its evolution on different timescales, and eventually to determine its physical origin. Linear polarization measurements have also been obtained regularly in the last few years.
Methods. We used both the ESPaDOnS and Narval spectropolarimeters to obtain high signal-to-noise ratio spectra, which were processed by means of the least-squares deconvolution method. In order to ensure the reality of the very weak circular polarization, special care has been taken to limit instrumental effects. In addition, several tests were performed on the Stokes V signal to establish its stellar and Zeeman origin.
Results. We confirm the magnetic nature of the circular polarization, pointing to a surface magnetic field of the order of 1 G. The Stokes V profiles present variations over different timescales, the most prominent one being close to the long secondary period (LSP; around 2000 d for Betelgeuse) often invoked in red evolved stars. This long period is also dominant for all the other Stokes parameters. The circular polarization is tentatively modeled by means of magnetic field concentrations mimicking spots, showing in particular that the velocity associated with each “spot” also follows the long timescale, and that this signal is nearly always slightly redshifted.
Conclusions. From the coupled variations of both linear and circular polarization signatures in amplitude, velocity and timescale, we favour giant convection cells as the main engine at the origin of polarization signatures and variations in all the Stokes parameters. This strengthens support for the hypothesis that large convective cells are at the origin of the LSP.
Key words: stars: magnetic field / stars: individual: Betelgeuse / stars: late-type / supergiants
© ESO 2018
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0;), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.