Thursday, January 10, 2013

1301.1680 (O. Kochukhov et al.)

Magnetic field topology of the RS CVn star II Pegasi    [PDF]

O. Kochukhov, M. J. Mantere, T. Hackman, I. Ilyin
The dynamo processes in cool active stars generate complex magnetic fields responsible for prominent surface stellar activity and variability at different time scales. For a small number of cool stars magnetic field topologies were reconstructed from the time series of spectropolarimetric observations using the Zeeman Doppler imaging (ZDI) method. In this study we follow a long-term evolution of the magnetic field topology of the RS CVn binary star II Peg. We collected high-resolution circular polarisation observations of II Peg using the SOFIN spectropolarimeter at the Nordic Optical Telescope. These data cover 12 epochs spread over 7 years. A multi-line diagnostic technique in combination with a new ZDI code is applied to interpret these observations. Magnetic inversions using these data reveals evolving magnetic fields with typical local strengths of 0.5-1.0 kG and complex topologies. Despite using a self-consistent magnetic and temperature mapping technique, we do not find a clear correlation between magnetic and temperature features in the ZDI maps. Neither do we confirm the presence of persistent azimuthal field rings found in other RS CVn stars. Reconstruction of the magnetic field topology of II Peg reveals significant evolution of both the surface magnetic field structure and the extended magnetospheric field geometry. From 2004 to 2010 the total field energy drastically declined and the field became less axisymmetric. This also coincided with the transition from predominantly poloidal to mainly toroidal field topology. A qualitative comparison of the ZDI maps of II Peg with the prediction of dynamo theory suggests that the magnetic field in this star is produced mainly by the turbulent alpha^2 dynamo rather than the solar alphaOmega dynamo. Our results do not show a clear active longitude system, nor is there an evidence of the presence of an azimuthal dynamo wave.
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