Discovery of magnetic fields in central stars of planetary nebulae*
Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Universität Tübingen, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
3 Dr.-Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, Sternwartstr. 7, 96049 Bamberg, Germany
Accepted: 1 November 2004
For the first time we have directly detected magnetic fields in central stars of planetary nebulae by means of spectro-polarimetry with FORS1 at the VLT. In all four objects of our sample we found kilogauss magnetic fields, in NGC 1360 and LSS 1362 with very high significance, while in EGB 5 and Abell 36 the existence of a magnetic field is probable but with less certainty. This discovery supports the hypothesis that the non-spherical symmetry of most planetary nebulae is caused by magnetic fields in AGB stars. Our high discovery rate demands mechanisms to prevent full conservation of magnetic flux during the transition to white dwarfs.
Key words: stars: white dwarfs / stars: magnetic fields / stars: individual: NGC 1360, EGB 5, LSS 1362, Abell 36
© ESO, 2005