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Donati Jean-François, Howarth I. D., Bouret J.-C., Petit Pascal, Catala Claude, Landstreet John D.

Discovery of a strong magnetic field on the O star HD 191612: new clues to the future of theta<SUP>1</SUP> Orionis C<SUP>*</SUP>

Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2006, vol. 365, pp. L6-L10

Référence DOI : 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2005.00115.x
Référence ADS : 2006MNRAS.365L...6D

Résumé :

From observations made with the ESPaDOnS spectropolarimeter, recently installed on the 3.6-m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, we report the discovery of a strong magnetic field in the Of?p spectrum variable HD 191612 - only the second known magnetic O star (following theta<SUP>1</SUP> Ori C). The stability of the observed Zeeman signature over four nights of observation, together with the non-rotational shape of line profiles, argues that the rotation period of HD 191612 is significantly longer than the 9-d value previously proposed. We suggest that the recently identified 538-d spectral variability period is the rotation period, in which case the observed line-of-sight magnetic field of -220 +/- 38 G implies a large-scale field (assumed dipolar) with a polar strength of about -1.5 kG. If confirmed, this scenario suggests that HD 191612 is, essentially, an evolved version of the near-zero-age main-sequence magnetic O star theta<SUP>1</SUP> Ori C, but with an even stronger field (about 15 kG at an age similar to that of theta<SUP>1</SUP> Ori C). We suggest that the rotation rate of HD 191612, which is exceptionally slow by accepted O-star standards, could be due to angular momentum dissipation through a magnetically confined wind.

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