HARPS spectropolarimetry of Herbig Ae/Be stars


  • Based on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility under requests MSCHOELLER 51301, 51324, 36608–36611.


Our knowledge of the presence and the strength of magnetic fields in intermediate-mass pre-main-sequence stars remains very poor. We present new magnetic field measurements in six Herbig Ae/Be stars observed with HARPS in spectropolarimetric mode. We downloaded from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) archive the publically available HARPS spectra for six Herbig Ae/Be stars. Wavelength shifts between right- and left-hand side circularly polarised spectra were interpreted in terms of a longitudinal magnetic field 〈Bz〉, using the moment technique introduced by Mathys. The application of the moment technique to the HARPS spectra allowed us in addition to study the presence of the crossover effect and quadratic magnetic fields. Our search for longitudinal magnetic fields resulted in first detections of weak magnetic fields in the Herbig Ae/Be stars HD 58647 and HD 98922. Further, we confirm the previous tentative detection of a weak magnetic field in HD 104237 by Donati et al. and confirm the previous detection of a magnetic field in the Herbig Ae star HD 190073. Surprisingly, the measured longitudinal magnetic field of HD 190073, 〈Bz〉 = 91 ± 18 G at a significance level of 5σ is not in agreement with the measurement results of Alecian et al. (2013), 〈Bz〉 = –10 ± 20 G, who applied the LSD method to exactly the same data. No crossover effect was detected for any star in the sample. Only for HD 98922 the crossover effect was found tobe close to 3σ with a measured value of –4228 ± 1443 km s–1 G. A quadratic magnetic field of the order of 10 kG was detected in HD 98922, and of ∼3.5 kG in HD 104237. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)