Journal Article

Exploring the photometric signatures of magnetospheres around helium-strong stars

R. H. D. Townsend

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 389, issue 2, pages 559-566
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13462.x
Exploring the photometric signatures of magnetospheres around helium-strong stars

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Photometric variations due to magnetically confined material around helium-strong stars are investigated within the framework of the rigidly rotating magnetosphere model. For dipole field topologies, the model is used to explore how the morphology of light curves evolves in response to changes to the observer inclination, magnetic obliquity, rotation rate and optical depth. The general result is that double-minimum light curves arise when the obliquity and/or inclination are close to 90°; no light variations are seen in the opposite limit. For intermediate cases, single-minimum light curves occur. These findings are interpreted with the aid of a simple, analytical torus model, paving the way for the development of new photometric-based constraints on the fundamental parameters of helium-strong stars. Illustrative applications to five stars in the class are presented.

Keywords: techniques: photometric; stars: chemically peculiar; stars: fundamental parameters; stars: magnetic fields; stars: rotation; stars: variables: other

Journal Article.  4935 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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