Volume 658, February 2022
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||08 February 2022|
Letter to the Editor
Discovery of a highly magnetic He-sdO star from a double-degenerate binary merger
Dr. Karl Remeis-Observatory & ECAP, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Sternwartstr. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
2 Institut für Physik und Astronomie, Universität Potsdam, Haus 28, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24/25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
3 Department of Physics, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill, Road, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
4 Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
5 University, and National Observatory, of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, PR China
6 Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy & GRAPPA, University of Amsterdam, Postbus 94249, 1090 GE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
7 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 1, 85741 Garching, Germany
Accepted: 17 January 2022
Helium-rich hot subdwarf stars of spectral type O (He-sdO) are considered prime candidates for stellar merger remnants. Such events should lead to the generation of strong magnetic fields. However, no magnetic He-sdO has yet been unambiguously discovered despite the high magnetic rate (20%) among white dwarf stars, the progeny of hot subdwarfs. Here we present the discovery of a strong magnetic field (B = 353 ± 10 kG) from Zeeman-split hydrogen, helium, and metal lines in the optical X-shooter spectrum of an He-sdO and present the first spectroscopic analysis of any magnetic hot subdwarf. For this we used line-blanketed TLUSTY non-local thermodynamic equilibrium models and assumed a simple homogeneous magnetic field. The derived atmospheric parameters Teff = 44 900 ± 1000 K and log g = 5.93 ± 0.15 are typical for He-sdO stars, while the star is less hydrogen-poor than most He-sdOs at log n(He)/n(H) = + 0.28 ± 0.10. The star is a slow rotator (vrot sin i < 40 km s−1). Its chemical composition is N-rich and C- and O-poor, and the Si and S abundances are close to solar. Combining the atmospheric parameters with Gaia parallax and photometry, the stellar radius and luminosity are found to be typical for He-sdOs and place the star on the helium main sequence in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. Its mass of 0.93−0.30+0.44 M⊙, although uncertain, appears to be remarkably high. The strong magnetic field along with the atmospheric parameters and metal abundances provide overwhelming evidence for the double-degenerate merger scenario.
Key words: stars: magnetic field / subdwarfs / stars: early-type
© ESO 2022
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