Magnetic Fields and Chemical Spots in HgMn Stars
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Mercury-manganese (HgMn) stars belong to the class of chemically peculiar (CP) stars. It was recently discovered that some HgMn stars have spots of chemical elements on their surfaces. According to conventional picture of CP stars, magnetic field facilitates the formation and long term stability of chemical spots by controlling stratification of elements in stellar atmosphere. However, previous attempts to find magnetic field in HgMn stars set an upper limit on its strength at the level of about 20-100 Gauss. Observational evidence suggested that even weaker magnetic fields can be responsible for the formation of chemical spots. The main goal of our work was to verify this possibility.
The search for weak magnetic fields requires the use of least-squares deconvolution (LSD) technique. This method combines information from many spectral lines providing a mean line profile with increased signal-to-noise ratio. Up to now there was no extensive comparison of the LSD profile with real spectral lines. We showed that the LSD profile of the intensity spectrum does not behave like a real spectral line as a function of chemical composition. However, for circular polarization, LSD profile resembles the profile of a spectral line with mean atomic parameters.
We performed a comprehensive search for magnetic field in 47 HgMn stars and their companions, based on high-quality spectropolarimetric data obtained with the HARPSpol polarimeter at the ESO 3.6-m telescope. With the help of LSD technique, an upper limit on the mean longitudinal magnetic field was brought down to 2-10 G for most stars. We concluded that magnetic field is not responsible for the spot formation in HgMn stars.
We obtained full rotational phase coverage for the HgMn stars φ Phe and 66 Eri. This enabled us to investigate line profile variability, reconstruct surface maps of chemical elements, and perform a search for magnetic field with very high sensitivity. For φ Phe we derived surface maps of Y, Sr, Ti, Cr, and obtained an upper limit of 4 G on the field strength. We also found marginal indication of vertical stratification of Y and Ti. No magnetic field was detected in both components of 66 Eri, with an upper limit of 10-24 G. We discovered chemical spots of Y, Sr, Ba, and Ti, in the primary star. We demonstrated a relation between the binary orbit and the morphology of these spots.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011. , 46 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 873
Chemically peculiar stars; magnetic fields; spectropolarimetry; Doppler imaging
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject Astronomy with specialization in Astrophysics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-160308ISBN: 978-91-554-8199-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-160308DiVA: diva2:450464
2011-12-08, Häggsalen, Ångström Laboratory, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Wade, Gregg, Professor
Kochukhov, Oleg, DocentPiskunov, Nikolai, Professor
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