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Journal Articles Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A Year : 2015

The magnetic fields at the surface of active single G-K giants

N. Lagarde
W. Weiss
  • Function : Author


We investigate the magnetic field at the surface of 48 red giants selected as promising for detection of Stokes V Zeeman signatures in their spectral lines. We use the spectropolarimeters Narval and ESPaDOnS to detect circular polarization within the photospheric absorption lines of our targets and use the least-squares deconvolution (LSD) method. We also measure the classical S-index activity indicator, and the stellar radial velocity. To infer the evolutionary status of our giants and to interpret our results, we use state-of-the-art stellar evolutionary models with predictions of convective turnover times. We unambiguously detect magnetic fields via Zeeman signatures in 29 of the 48 red giants in our sample. Zeeman signatures are found in all but one of the 24 red giants exhibiting signs of activity, as well as 6 out of 17 bright giant stars.The majority of the magnetically detected giants are either in the first dredge up phase or at the beginning of core He burning, i.e. phases when the convective turnover time is at a maximum: this corresponds to a 'magnetic strip' for red giants in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. A close study of the 16 giants with known rotational periods shows that the measured magnetic field strength is tightly correlated with the rotational properties, namely to the rotational period and to the Rossby number Ro. Our results show that the magnetic fields of these giants are produced by a dynamo. Four stars for which the magnetic field is measured to be outstandingly strong with respect to that expected from the rotational period/magnetic field relation or their evolutionary status are interpreted as being probable descendants of magnetic Ap stars. In addition to the weak-field giant Pollux, 4 bright giants (Aldebaran, Alphard, Arcturus, eta Psc) are detected with magnetic field strength at the sub-gauss level.

Dates and versions

in2p3-01954376 , version 1 (13-12-2018)



M. Auriere, R. Konstantinova-Antova, Corinne Charbonnel, G. Wade, S. Tsvetkova, et al.. The magnetic fields at the surface of active single G-K giants. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2015, 574, pp.A90. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201424579⟩. ⟨in2p3-01954376⟩
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