Volume 635, March 2020
|Number of page(s)||23|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||24 March 2020|
Hidden magnetic fields of young suns
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, 75120 Uppsala, Sweden
2 Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, PO Box 64, Helsinki 00014, Finland
3 Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
4 ReSoLVE Centre of Excellence, Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, PO Box 15400, 00076 Aalto, Finland
Accepted: 24 February 2020
Global magnetic fields of active solar-like stars are, nowadays, routinely detected with spectropolarimetric measurements and are mapped with Zeeman Doppler imaging (ZDI). However, due to the cancellation of opposite field polarities, polarimetry only captures a tiny fraction of the magnetic flux and cannot assess the overall stellar surface magnetic field if it is dominated by a small-scale component. The analysis of Zeeman broadening in high-resolution intensity spectra can reveal these hidden complex magnetic fields. Historically, there were very few attempts to obtain such measurements for G dwarf stars due to the difficulty of disentangling the Zeeman effect from other broadening mechanisms affecting spectral lines. Here, we developed a new magnetic field diagnostic method based on relative Zeeman intensification of optical atomic lines with different magnetic sensitivity. By using this technique, we obtained 78 field strength measurements for 15 Sun-like stars, including some of the best-studied young solar twins. We find that the average magnetic field strength Bf drops from 1.3−2.0 kG in stars younger than about 120 Myr to 0.2−0.8 kG in older stars. The mean field strength shows a clear correlation with the Rossby number and with the coronal and chromospheric emission indicators. Our results suggest that magnetic regions have roughly the same local field strength B ≈ 3.2 kG in all stars, with the filling factor f of these regions systematically increasing with stellar activity. In comparing our results with the spectropolarimetric analyses of global magnetic fields in the same stars, we find that ZDI recovers about 1% of the total magnetic field energy in the most active stars. This figure drops to just 0.01% for the least active targets.
Key words: stars: activity / stars: late-type / stars: solar-type / stars: magnetic field
© ESO 2020
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