Journal Article

Magnetic field, chemical composition and line profile variability of the peculiar eclipsing binary star AR Aur*

C. P. Folsom, O. Kochukhov, G. A. Wade, J. Silvester and S. Bagnulo

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 4, pages 2383-2392
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Magnetic field, chemical composition and line profile variability of the peculiar eclipsing binary star AR Aur*

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AR Aur is the only eclipsing binary known to contain a HgMn star, making it an ideal case for a detailed study of the HgMn phenomenon. HgMn stars are a poorly understood class of chemically peculiar stars, which have traditionally been thought not to possess significant magnetic fields. However, the recent discovery of line profile variability in some HgMn stars, apparently attributable to surface abundance patches, has brought this belief into question. In this paper we investigate the chemical abundances, line profile variability, and magnetic field of the primary and secondary of the AR Aur system, using a series of high-resolution spectropolarimetric observations. We find the primary is indeed a HgMn star, and present the most precise abundances yet determined for this star. We find the secondary is a weak Am star, and is possibly still on the pre-main sequence. Line profile variability was observed in a range of lines in the primary, and is attributed to inhomogeneous surface distributions of some elements. No magnetic field was detected in any observation of either stars, with an upper limit on the longitudinal magnetic field in both stars of 100 G. Modelling of the phase-resolve longitudinal field measurements leads to a 3σ upper limit on any dipole surface magnetic field of about 400 G.

Keywords: stars: abundances; binaries: eclipsing; stars: chemically peculiar; stars: individual: AR Aur; stars: magnetic field

Journal Article.  6279 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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